Because you are disabled.

File for disability benefits.

Appeal your case.

How you presented your initial application was the best you could do at that time given what you knew and were told.

But, if you were not successful, appeal (1) because you are disabled and (2) because you can improve on your presentation.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Schizoaffective Disorder, Chronic Pain, Personality Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, With Borderline Features.

In this report and recommendation by a US Magistrate Judge, the court concluded that because of the Administrative Law Judge’s errors, the unfavorable hearing decision should be reversed and the claimant should be paid benefits.

The court, quoting Social Security Ruling 96-6p, found that the ALJ had not properly evaluated the conclusions of a Social Security consultative psychologist (Dr. Buxton). The ruling states that an ALJ “must consider and evaluate any assessment of the individual’s [residual functional capacity] by a State agency medical or psychological consultant and by other program physicians or psychologists.” The court emphasized that: “This requirement is mandatory. The ALJ did not do so with regard to Dr. Buxton's opinion.”

The court further stated that the ALJ failed to mention the claimant’s more current records.  The court noted:  “It is clear that the ALJ must consider all the record evidence and cannot ‘pick and choose’ only the evidence that supports his position. [Citation omitted.]”
Dr. Buxton “determined that other than for relatively brief intervals of time, she might well not perform in a reliable and dependable fashion as an employee secondary to the negative impact from her Schizoaffective Disorder and pain complaints on her functional capabilities as well as the possibility of any breakthrough seizures.”

“Dr. Buxton further found that with the accumulation of frustration and stress claimant would encounter in the job setting, she might well have exacerbation in the epileptiform seizures. Additionally, he determined that with the accumulation of frustration and stress, one might also see some exacerbation in her Schizoaffective Disorder, an increase in her pain complaints, and a tendency to act or behave in a fashion that might work to her own demise.”

The court concluded:  “Dr. Buxton's opinion indicates that claimant would be unable to work until she demonstrated ‘significant improvement’ in her overall functional status. At this point, the medical records demonstrate that she has not.”

Foreman v. Commissioner of Social Security, Civil Action No. 12-2833 (D. W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Div., Jan. 30, 2014.

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