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Court Decisions: Articles

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N.D.N.Y. Remands Two Claims

Mike Telfer, Senior Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Northern New York in Albany, convinced U.S. District Court Glenn Suddaby to order remand in not just one but two appeals in the past two months. Read More

ALJ Required to Develop Record

The Second Circuit reaffirmed the ALJ’s duty to develop the record, even if the claimant is represented, in Guillen v. Berryhill, 2017 WL 4279335, --- Fed. App’x --- (2d Cir. Sept. 27, 2017). Read More

2d Circuit Remands for Consideration of SGA

When is past work relevant at Step four of SSA’s Sequential Evaluation for determining disability? When it was performed within the past fifteen years, lasted long enough for the claimant to learn how to perform it, and was substantial gainful activity. Read More

N.D.N.Y. Remand for Consideration of Migraines

Attorney Michael Telfer of Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, and Anthony Baer formerly of LASNY, enjoyed a recent victory in U.S. District Court. In Dodson v. Berryhill, 2017 WL 2838167 (N.D.N.Y. June 30, 2017), Judge Lawrence Kahn found Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Arthur Patane ignored substantial evidence in determining the claimant’s migraines to be non-severe and committed legal error in demanding objective evidence for Dodson’s migraines. Read More

Opinions Concerning Absenteeism Should Be Considered

In a recent decision, N.D.N.Y. Magistrate Judge Peebles examined regulations 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1527(d)(1), (2) and §§ 416.927(d)(1), (2), which note that whether a claimant is disabled or not, including the determination of vocational factors, is a decision reserved for the Commissioner. Consideration of medical sources opinions as to vocational factors, however, is allowable. Read More

Remand Decision Expeditied in Child's Case

Michael Hampden of Legal Services for Children in New York City recently won a significant remand for his client. In Estrella o/b/o v. Berryhill, 2017 WL 2693722 (S.D.N.Y. June 22, 2017), the District Court agreed an ALJ error can amount to lack of substantial evidence. Read More

Appeals Council Guilty of "Bait" and "Switch"

Timeliness of an appeal was addressed by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Casey v. Berryhill, 2017 WL 398309 (7th Cir. Jan. 30, 2017). The Social Security Administration (SSA) had denied the plaintiff’s request for a waiver of an overpayment, so he requested review from the Appeals Council. Read More

Court Rejects Boilerplate Credibility Assessment

In a recent decision from the Western District of New York, U.S.D.C. Judge Charles Siragusa rejected the ALJ’s use of the “oft-criticized” phrase that claimant’s “statement concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of these symptoms are not credible to the extent they are inconsistent with the above residual functional capacity assessment.” Read More

Court Order Remand to Different ALJ

Attorney Ruth Alexrod, of Axelrod & Gottlieb in New York City, convinced U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Davison that Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Seth Goldman’s conduct warranted remand to a different ALJ. DeMota v. Berryhill, 2017 WL 1134771 (S.D.N.Y. March 24, 2017). Read More

Treating Physician Rule Still Reigns

The treating physician rule was the basis for the Second Circuit’s recent summary order in Gavazzi v. Berryhill, 2017 WL 1400456 (2d Cir. Apr. 19, 2017). The case was commenced before the treating physician regulations were decimated. Read More


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