Monthly Archives: March, 2012

Social Security Case Rulings week of March 29, 2012

6th Circuit

DRAGON v. COMMISSONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.
Filed: March 26, 2012.

REVERSED AND BENEFITS AWARDED

A judge cannot reject an IQ test as being too old when there is no evidence that indicates the test was invalid, nor do the test results have to be in the file, the mere reference of them with a showing of inability to pass 9th grade proficiency tests and finding by school of mentally handicapped is sufficient to prove dx of intellectual impairment.

Substantial evidence did not support the ALJ’s decision to disregard Dragon’s examining doctor’s evaluation in favor of a form with little substantive information.

The ALJ found Dragon’s testimony “credible to the extent that such testimony is consistent with the above [RFC] assessment.6 To the extent that any such testimony was reflective of a greater degree of limitations, such testimony was not found to be credible due to a lack of objective medical support.” This reasoning is circular. The ALJ found Dragon’s testimony credible to the extent it confirmed the ALJ’s own conclusion. Thus, it appears the ALJ afforded Dragon’s testimony no weight at all because the ALJ had come to its conclusion independent of the information from her testimony.

 

9th Circuit

PICCIONE v. ASTRUE

United States District Court, D. Idaho.

March 28, 2012.

AFFIRMED

When taking in account with all the evidence, a claimant’s demeanor and manner at trial is one of several factors an ALJ can use to determine credibility

11th Circuit

TURNER v. COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division.
March 26, 2012.

AFFIRMED

Case shows the level of functioning in ADHD child found not to meet the definition of disability

SLATER v. ASTRUE
United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division.
March 23, 2012.

REVERSED and REMANDED

With evidence of a IQ below 70 the judge must consider if it is a valid score and whether or not in combination the claimant meets 12.05c

Social Security to start eAuthorization of 827’s

Letter from the Commissioner regarding eAuthorization.

Starting April 21, 2012 SSA will begin allowing disability applications to electronically sign 827’s authorization for release of medical records.  This change will apply to all applicants filing online and will mean less pages to print & return to SSA after filing your application.

 

Heading to the Missouri Supreme Court – Disability and Unemployment

A news article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch came out today regarding the State of Missouri attempting to recover $3,000.00 in alleged over-payments due to also receiving Social Security benefits.  In this case, Social Security and Unemployment talked to each other, came up with a number to be withheld from the claimant’s back pay to cover the overage, and then Missouri came after more money.

The case is to be heard in the fall and it will be interesting to see how the high court handles the issue and if they limit any decision to just Social Security cases.

 

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