Tuesday, September 02, 2008

social security - disability - duty to consider all evidence - inconsistent findings

Stover v. Astrue - ED Pa. - August 28, 2008


The court remanded the case after finding that the ALJ failed to consider all of the medical evidence of record and that his findings with respect to certain medical evidence pertaining to Plaintiff’s mood disorder are irreconcilably inconsistent.

Specifically, the ALJ (a) failed to consider the entire medical opinion of the state agency psychologist, (b) the ALJ appears to have made two different credibility findings as to the consultative physician’s medical opinions concerning plaintiff’s mental impairments, and (c) the ALJ mistakenly represents that certain nonexertional limitations were posed to the VE in a hypothetical question.

These omissions and errors concern medical evidence that is probative of the question before the ALJ at Step Four: whether Plaintiff could return to her past relevant work as a parking lot cashier. Due to these omissions and errors, the court finds that the ALJ’s decision is not supported by substantial evidence.