Wednesday, May 28, 2008

disability - findings and reasons

Levine v. Astrue - ED Pa. - March 27, 2008

http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/08D0368P.pdf

The court ordered a remand due to several unexplained conflicts and inconsistencies the ALJ’s findings, which are "not for an appellate court to explain....See Fargnoli v. Massanari, 247 F.3d 34, 41-42 (3d Cir. 2001)."

"Despite finding that the treating physician’s opinion was entitled to controlling weight, ...the ALJ did not discuss these limitations in his assessment of RFC, even though “a clear and satisfactory explanation” must accompany an ALJ’s finding of RFC. Fargnoli, 47 F.3d at 41....The ALJ’s opinion below is deficient in this respect because it does not specifically discuss the mental impairments the treating physician reported."

"The ALJ’s decision did not explain the conflict between the skill level the ALJ found plaintiff to have and the skill requirements of the jobs the VE testified the plaintiff could perform. The VE and the ALJ must explain such inconsistencies on the record, and if they have not, the matter must be remanded. See Burns, 312 F.3d at 127 (requiring that conflicts between an ALJ’s findings and the DOT definitions be explained “on the record and that the ALJ explain in his decision how the conflict was resolved”). This matter is therefore remanded so that the ALJ can explain these inconsistencies."

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