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Case Update: Another Reversal With Award of Benefits – Karl’s Hot Streak Continues!

I recently went 32 straight hands at blackjack without losing (ok, there were several pushes, and two times when I luckily bought insurance against the dealer having blackjack); I may never have run like that again.

I also may never have another run again of reversals with award of benefits in Social Security federal court appeals like I’m having now. You may have noticed I recently posted two items regarding other cases where I had been able to obtain this rare result. And, now I get to report it AGAIN!

In this case, my client, who was over 60 years old at the time of the ALJ’s decision, and who had a 38 consecutive year work history prior to alleging disability, was denied benefits even though his doctor of 10 years explicitly detailed how his significant mental impairment resulted in his inability to work on a regular and continuous basis. The most significant aspects of the treating psychiatrist’s opinion was supported practically word for word by Social Security’s examining psychologist. The District Court (New York) found that the ALJ had improperly substituted his lay analysis for these opinions and, noting that the vocational expert had testified that a person limited like the person described by plaintiff’s treating doctor and Social Security’s examining doctor would not be able to work competitively, found that no useful purpose would be served by further remands and ordered an immediate calculation of benefits.

By the way, when I imply it may never happen again, I know that’s not true: I just received an order yesterday from the District Court in Alaska that Social Security must show cause within 10 days why it should not just reverse and remand for calculation of benefits in yet another of my cases, a claimant whose case has been pending for almost 6 years, and which has been previously remanded for further proceedings by the District Court up there. Assuming they can’t convince the court, I’ll have another of the stories fairly soon!