Social Security Case Rulings Week of March 23, 2012

8th Circuit

MEADOR v. ASTRUE
United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division. March 16, 2012.
Remanded

The ALJ explanation that the claimant played basketball and one sentence dismissing the other doctor’s opinion is not sufficient to explain the weight given to Doctor’s statements.

10th Circuit

IN THE MATTER OF MARRIAGE OF HOHMANN
Court of Appeals of Kansas March 16, 2012
Affirmed

Lump Sum payments for children from father’s SSA account can be applied to cover any arrears for the time frame in which the lump sum covers.

11th Circuit
KOSOWSKI v. ASTRUE
United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division. March 19, 2012
Reversed and Remanded

If an ALJ concludes the medical opinion of a treating physician should be given less than substantial or considerable weight, he or she must clearly articulate reasons showing “good cause” for discounting it. Lewis v. Callahan, 125 F.3d 1436, 1440 (11th Cir. 1997). Good cause exists when (1) the opinion is not bolstered by the evidence; (2) the evidence supports a contrary finding; or (3) the opinion is conclusory or inconsistent with the treating physician’s own medical
records. Phillips, 357 F.3d at 1240-41; see also Edwards v. Sullivan, 937 F.2d 580, 583-84 (11th Cir. 1991); Schnorr v. Bowen, 816 F.2d 578, 582 (11th Cir. 1987)

Here the ALJ’s conclusory sentence that “little weight” should be given to Dr. Nguyen’s opinion because “a less than sedentary [RFC] is too restrictive in light of the medical evidence.” is insufficient as it lacks specificity or points to specific evidential support and thus “impedes judicial review”
See also Russ v. Astrue, No. 3:07-cv-1213-J-MCR, 2009 WL 764516, at *10 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 20, 2009) finding an ALJ’s “dismissal” of a treating physician’s opinion was “deficient” when the ALJ noted the opinion “was `not supported by objective findings'” but did not
provide any explanation for the reason).

PARSONS v. COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division. March 21, 2012.
Affirmed

Failure to raise a claim of a condition or testify to it at hearing regarding those impairments bars the claimant from claiming the ALJ failed to discuss them or give limitations based on them. See Robinson, 365 F. App’x. at 995; Street, 133 F. App’x. at 627-28
The ALJ does not have to specifically talk about each piece of evidence in the record and it is not error to fail to do so

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