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Judges order Social Security Administration to take another look at man’s claim

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the denial of a man’s request for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration because it found the administrative law judge didn’t adequately explain why the man hadn’t met requirements for a presumptive disability.

Charles Kastner worked as a delivery manager in 2004 when he felt a pop in his neck while unloading a heavy refrigerator. His pain increased as the days went on. In addition to this incident, 16 years earlier Kastner had an workplace accident where he fell from a safety ladder which broke while he was standing on it.

Kastner visited several doctors for his pain and mobility issues. He had two surgeries to remove a herniated cervical disc. By March 2007, Kastner’s neuropathic pain had returned and he was referred for chronic pain management.

He applied for disability insurance benefits in June 2006, claiming he couldn’t work due to chronic neck pain. The administrative law judge denied the claim in November 2008, finding Kastner could perform sedentary work. The Appeals Council denied a request for review and the District Court affirmed the ALJ’s decision.

But the 7th Circuit found the ALJ’s decision lacked evidence to support her decision that Kastner’s impairment is considered conclusively disabling. Kastner argued that his condition meets the requirements for disorders of the spine found in the Listing of Impairments. The commissioner for the Social Security Administration advanced several arguments defending the ALJ’s decision, but the agency cites to evidence the ALJ didn’t rely upon, Judge Ann Claire Williams wrote in Charles R. Kastner v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, 11-1166.  

“On appeal, the Commissioner may not generate a novel basis for the ALJ’s determination. To permit meaningful review, the ALJ was obligated to explain sufficiently what she meant by ‘limitation of motion of the spine as anticipated by section 1.04A,’” she wrote.

The 7th Circuit sent the case back to the SSA, encouraging the administrative law judge to consider and account for certain medical evidence along with Kastner’s personal statements about his symptoms.

 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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