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Northern District Remands Claim

Empire Justice Center April 30, 2020

U.S. District Judge Mordue recently remanded a claim for further consideration, ruling that the sedentary residual functional capacity (RFC) found by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) was not supported by the evidence. The ALJ ignored evidence from the treating source limiting the claimant to fewer than six hours of sitting per day. The ALJ also erred in relying on the claimant’s activities of daily living to support the RFC. The court found the activities were more limited than described by the ALJ, who failed to acknowledge how qualified the claimant’s descriptions were.

 

Judge Mordue also faulted the Appeals Council for rejecting new and material evidence. The claimant’s treating source had provided a letter to the Appeals Council rebutting the ALJ’s findings as to the consistency of the claimant’s treatment plan with his allegations of severe pain. Instead of considering the evidence, the Appeals Council simply quoted its typical boilerplate: “this evidence does not show a reasonable probability that it would change the outcome of the decision.” The court ordered the Commissioner to review and consider the new evidence on remand.

 

Congratulations to Attorney Mark Schneider for his victory in Joseph B. v. Saul, 2020 WL 1849524 (N.D.N.Y. April 13, 2020).