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

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Heritage, what Heritage? The New Age is dawning .... an experiment in disordered liberty and social fragmentation is upon us .... "Carmel City Council approved a human rights ordinance with a 4-3 vote Monday night after hearing about two hours of divided public testimony. The ordinance bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, among other traits. Council members Rick Sharp, Carol Schleif, Sue Finkam and Ron Carter voted in favor of it. The three council members opposing it—Luci Snyder, Kevin Rider and Eric Seidensticker—all said they were against any form of discrimination, but had issues with the wording and possible unintended consequences of the proposal." Kardashian is the new Black.

  2. Can anyone please tell me if anyone is appealing the law that certain sex offenders can't be on school property. How is somebody supposed to watch their children's sports games or graduations, this law needs revised such as sex offenders that are on school property must have another non-offender adult with them at all times while on school property. That they must go to the event and then leave directly afterwards. This is only going to hurt the children of the offenders and the father/ son mother/ daughter vice versa relationship. Please email me and let me know if there is a group that is appealing this for reasons other than voting and religion. Thank you.

  3. Should any attorney who argues against the abortion industry, or presents arguments based upon the Founders' concept of Higher Law, (like that marriage precedes the State) have to check in with the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program for a mandatory mental health review? Some think so ... that could certainly cut down on cases such as this "cluttering up" the SCOTUS docket ... use JLAP to deny all uber conservative attorneys licenses and uber conservative representation will tank. If the ends justify the means, why not?

  4. Tell them sherry Mckay told you to call, they're trying to get all the people that have been wronged and held unlawfully to sign up on this class action lawsuit.

  5. Call Young and Young aAttorneys at Law theres ones handling a class action lawsuit