- DISABILITY CLAIM FAQ
In Scandura v. Astrue, 2009 WL 648611 (E.D.N.Y. Mar 10, 2009), the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of New York rejected the opinion of Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Hazel Strauss because, among other things, the ALJ failed to acknowledge the validity of a retrospective medical opinion. Similarly, in Vicari v. Astrue, 2009 WL 331242 (E.D.N.Y. Feb 10, 2009), the court rejected the ALJ’s decision because it erroneously asserted that “a retrospective opinion is not acceptable dispite [sic] the attorneys [sic] allegations to the contrary.”
In other words, even if a physician first examines a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) claimant after the date last insured (“DLI”), the retrospective opinion still must be examined under the treating physician rule. In order to receive SSD benefits, a claimant must establish disability prior to the DLI.
I represent a 45 year old former carpenter who minimized his medical treatment after losing his health insurance. As a result, there was no doctor who treated the claimant prior to DLI to give an opinion regarding the claimant’s functional capacity. However, I submitted a functional assessment from the claimant’s current doctor, who gave a retrospective disability onset date. ALJ Crawley gave significant weight to the opinion, and approved the claimant’s SSD application.
The law is clear and well-established. As long as the retrospective opinion is well supported, such as when the doctor bases his opinion in part on reviewing pre-DLI medical records, it must be analyzed like any other medical opinion.Previous Next
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