Vermont District Court Remands Case
September 20, 2016. The claimant in this case was an Iraq War veteran who suffered numerous impairments related to his proximity to IED explosions while deployed. The ALJ denied benefits, disregarding the claimant’s 90% service-connected disability rating from the VA and disregarding evidence that relief from frequently occurring headaches was only achieved when he relaxed with no light or sound. The district court reversed, holding that the ALJ improperly discredited the VA rating and further, should have accounted for the impacts the claimant’s headaches had on his ability to perform work on a full-time basis, given the vocational expert’s testimony that an individual with the claimant’s impairments who was unable to be on task 95% of the work day or more, or would be absent from work more than once a month would not be employable.