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Ohio District Court Vacates ALJ Decision and Awards Benefits

October 21, 2015. A claimant with diabetes mellitus and bipolar disorder, among other impairments, was denied benefits after the ALJ assigned little weight to the claimant’s treating doctor’s opinions. The district court found that the ALJ erred by overlooking the extensive medical record, effectively deciding to ‘pick and choose’ the opinions that supported his position. The district court found that substantial evidence did not support the ALJ’s reasoning for discounting the treating physician’s opinions, and relied on his own non-medical lay opinion in rejecting numerous opinions of the treating physician. Therefore, the district court held that the ALJ’s decision was reversed and awarded benefits because the evidence of disability was overwhelming.