Tuesday, May 27, 2008

disability - remand - additional evidence, findings

Bauer-Cromartie v. Astrue - ED Pa. - May 21, 2008


additional evidence
The court remanded the case because of the ALJ's failure to follow the Appeals Council's insructions to gather further evidence about one of claimant on plaintiff’s impairments. "[A]lthough the likelihood that plaintiff’s impairment meets the de minimus standard for severity is high, it is impossible for me to properly evaluate whether this is, in fact, the case. McCrea v. Commr., 370 F.3d 357, 360 (3d Cir. 2004)."

Pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.1512(f), the court ordered the ALJ to obtain a "consultative exam and take any other appropriate measures needed to properly evaluate plaintiff’s claim including consultation with a medical expert and questioning of plaintiff at a hearing, if necessary," if "more salient records regarding the impairment are not available..."

statement of evidence to support findings
The court also ordered the to "clearly set forth the evidence supporting her physical RFC determination [concerning claimant's arthritis] and, if necessary, obtain a physical RFC statement from a medical professional." The ALJ had found that the now 62 year-old claimant could do medium work -- lifting 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently -- in spite of her arthritis.