John E. Horn of Horn & Kelley, PC, Attorneys at Law won the accompanying fully favorable Administrative Law Judge decision of Feb. 3, 2013. The Administrative Law Judge found that listing 5.05B was equaled because the medical expert at the hearing testified that claimant’s chronic liver disease equaled the severity contemplated by Paragraph B of section 5.05. Claimant’s cirrhosis and ascites improved since he discontinued excessive daily alcohol use, but he continues to experience weakness and esophageal varices, and he has cysts and lesions in the liver, as well as fatigue and malaise.
Horn & Kelley recently prevailed in an Appeals Council remand for our claimant. The Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) decision did not adequately assess the claimant’s mental residual functional capacity (“RFC”) because there was no discussion of the work-related functions related to deficiencies in social functioning. The ALJ who found claimant’s physical RFC to be “medium” on the basis of the Medical Expert’s (“ME”) testimony during direct examination failed to consider the ME’s testimony during cross-examination that the RFC should be automatically dropped to “light” because of the claimant’s knee impairments. The claimant will be scheduled for a new hearing.
John E. Horn of Horn & Kelley, PC, Attorneys at Law won the accompanying Appeals Council remand of Dec. 31, 2012. After a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge found that claimant’s only mental limitations were moderate in the abilities to understand, remember, and carry out detailed instructions; maintain concentration and attention for extended periods; and interact properly with the general public. The Appeals Council found that the term “moderate” is not specific enough to provide a function by function analysis in accordance with Social Security Ruling 96-8p. It was determined that nonspecific qualifying terms (e.g. moderate, moderately severe, and marked) should not be utilized since they do not describe function, nor do they usefully convey the extent of the claimant’s limitations.
As published in Volume 34, No. 11, November 2012 edition of the Social Security Forum of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR).
The Federal district court remanded under sentence six of 42 U.S.C. Section 405(g) for consideration of new and material evidence. The plaintiff had back surgery less than four months after the date of the ALJ’s decision. The Commissioner argued that the evidence was not material because it was evidence of new symptoms or a worsening of the condition and thus did not relate to the period before the date of the ALJ’s decision, warranting a new application. The court disagreed: “Because the surgery appears to closely relate to the treatment plaintiff was receiving prior to the ALJ’s decision, we find that is new and material objective evidence that is related to the plaintiff’s original DIB application. Therefore, the ALJ should consider this new and material evidence on remand.” The plaintiff was represented by John E. Horn, of Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law.
As published in Volume 34, No. 10, October 2012 edition of the Social Security Forum of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR).
The ALJ issued a fully favorable decision, finding the claimant’s impairments meet the criteria of listing 12.02C (Organic Mental Disorders). The paragraph “A” criteria are satisfied because the claimant has a documented memory impairment, mood disturbances, and emotional lability. The paragraph “C” criteria are also met. The claimant’s mother testified that he has lived with her since his birth. He was in special education classes and she provides his basic needs, including making meals, reminding him to take his medications, and taking care of his finances. He has memory difficulties. While he used alcohol and drugs in the past to deal with his emotions, he has not used substances since September 2010. IQ testing performed before his 22nd birthday indicate full scaled IQ of 64. The treating physician treats the claimant for depression and ADHD. In his opinion, the claimant is incapable of several essential work-related activities. The ALJ also found that the substance use disorders are not a contributing factor material to the disability determination. In addition, the ALJ found that work performed after the onset date was an unsuccessful work attempt. John Horn, Esq, Tinley Park, IL.
As published in Volume 34, No. 9, September 2012 edition of the Social Security Forum of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR).
The ALJ issued a fully favorable decision finding that the combination of the claimant’s multilevel degenerative disc disease, Hepatitis C, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) equaled Listing 1.04A (Disorders of the spine with nerve root compression). At the hearing, a medical expert (ME) testified that the claimant’s ongoing chronic lower back pain was compounded by Hepatitis C and RA. These conditions add to the limitations and pain that the claimant has. He further noted that the back surgery the claimant underwent did not provide pain relief and that she continued to have lower extremity weakness. She was found disabled as of the amended alleged onset date of March 1, 2010 (her date last insured was March 31, 2010), based on the application filed in August 2010. John E. Horn, Esq., Tinley Park, IL.