- DISABILITY CLAIM FAQ
Time and time again, administrative law judges (“ALJs”) invoke the mantra that determining the issue of disability is an issue that is reserved to the Commissioner when deciding Social Security Disability (“SSD”) claims. While that statement is correct, ALJs invariably apply it incorrectly.
It is true that a treating physician’s legal assertion that a claimant is disabled is not entitled to any special significance. However, the case law is clear that the same cannot be said about a treating physician’s medical assessment of the claimant’s limitations. The case law holds that a physician’s opinions regarding a claimant’s capacity to sit, lift, and stand for example, are in no way legal conclusions reserved to the Commissioner because they are not an opinion on the issue of legal disability, but on the nature and severity of the claimant’s impairments.
The problem is that ALJs invoke their “reserved” mantra as a basis to reject the limitations of a physician. That is a misapplication of the law. I received a decision today where the ALJ did just that. However, as the ALJ still issued a fully favorable decision, it will not need to be appealed.
DISCLAIMER This website provides general information on disability law topics as a public service. Information is intended to be as accurate and current as possible, but should not be relied on as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is created by viewing or using the content on this website. Each legal problem is different, and past performance does not guarantee future results. You should not act on any of the information contained in this site without first consulting legal counsel, which is why readers are advised to seek experienced legal representation in connection with disability related issues. Our Internet links are not associated with us, and we do not guarantee the accuracy of, any information contained in any link.
Copyright © 2021, Law Offices of Jeffrey Delott
Site Powered By: WebDesignYou