Disability Benefits

7th Circuit: Schizophrenia meets ‘severe impairment’ requirement for disability insurance

October 4, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an undisputed diagnosis of schizophrenia should be considered a “severe impairment,” an opinion that will allow an Indiana man to have another chance to receive disability insurance benefits after he was forced to quit his job because of his mental illness.
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6 years after finding flaws in disability benefits case, 7th Circuit remands again

August 10, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Fifteen years after a woman first applied for disability benefits based on degenerative disk disease, obesity, depression, and other ailments, she continues to fight the denial of benefits by the Social Security Administration. On Tuesday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the SSA take another look at her case, the second time it has done so.
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7th Circuit remands disability benefits denial

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found an administrative law judge had improperly cherry picked a man’s medical record and reversed the denial of his disability benefits.
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Appeals court sends request for benefits back to Social Security office

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A federal court in Indianapolis never should have affirmed the denial of Supplemental Security Income sought by an intellectually disabled woman because the administrative law judge’s decision was unsupported by the record, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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7th Circuit: Omission of fibromyalgia diagnosis reversible error

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an administrative law judge’s omission of fibromyalgia from a woman’s list of impairments was not supported by the evidence and reversed denial of her application for supplemental security income.
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Judge awards ex-Lilly manager $500,000 after lawsuit

May 9, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A federal judge has awarded more than $500,000 to a former manager at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. who quit for health reasons and was later dropped from the company’s extended disability plan.
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Lawyer in massive disability fraud case could be released

April 11, 2016
 Associated Press
Eric C. Conn, the Kentucky lawyer accused of conspiring to defraud the government of $600 million in questionable federal disability payments, could be released from jail pending trial.
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Disability denials draw criticism

April 6, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Seventh Circuit questions Social Security Administration’s outdated information, convoluted calculations in several recent decisions.
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Disability denial reversed due to 'fatally weak testimony'

March 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
The latest in a string of appeals critical of the denial of Social Security disability benefits resulted in reversal of a ruling against the worker Monday. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held the district court's ruling affirming denial of benefits was “not a reasonable analysis of the plaintiff's claim.”
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7th Circuit remands disability case over ALJ's findings

February 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a case to the Social Security Administration after finding the administrative law judge’s credibility analysis was flawed.
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7th Circuit disagrees with ALJ that woman is able to work

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In vacating the denial of an application for Social Security disability benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals admonished the administrative law judge for giving more weight to the opinion of the non-examining physician than to the diagnosis of the doctors who have been treating the applicant.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of disability benefits

January 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A worker with myriad health complaints failed to persuade the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a district court’s decision denying him long-term Social Security disability benefits.
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7th Circuit reverses benefits denial; judge chastises process

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner had harsh words for the Social Security Disability Office regarding vocational expert testimony: clean up your act.
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Americans with Disabilities Act turns 25

August 26, 2015
Teryn Armstrong
Also known as the largest civil rights act in the U.S., the ADA has resulted in gains for those with disabilities. However, there is still more work to be done.
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Denial of disability benefits premature, 7th Circuit rules

August 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana man who sustained long-lasting brain injuries after he was struck in the head with a barstool was improperly denied total Social Security disability benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Denial of disability benefits remanded for better explanation

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A rejection of a claimant’s application for disability is being remanded after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the “abstruse signals” in the denial did not sufficiently explain the reasons for disregarding new evidence.
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Deaf courtroom spectator ends fight with settlement

July 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A deaf Indiana man who was denied a sign-language interpreter in court has reached a $124,500 settlement with the state of Indiana.
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7th Circuit revives Anderson transit worker’s ADA claim

June 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
A mechanic's helper with the City of Anderson Transit System won the right to pursue his claims that his firing violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of railroad disability benefits

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A railroad worker treated in Indiana for years for back injuries and pain failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals he was entitled to federal disability benefits.
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7th Circuit reverses denial of disability benefits

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An administrative law judge’s denial of Social Security disability benefits for a man who the Veterans Administration determined was totally disabled cannot be sustained, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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ALJ’s numerous errors require denial of benefits reversed

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of a federal judge to uphold the denial of a man’s request for disability insurance benefits. The appeals court held that an administrative law judge made a number of errors when considering the record.
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7th Circuit reverses denial of benefits, blasts ALJ’s reasoning

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding several things “wrong” with an administrative law judge’s decision denying a Fort Wayne woman’s application for Social Security Income for the years prior to her turning 55, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
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Officer's meth-exposure claims untangled by appeals court

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rules an injured city policeman must exhaust workers' comp remedies before turning to the injured-on-duty statute.
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Judgment favoring policeman’s meth-exposure claim reversed

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A police officer who claimed disability resulting from his work dismantling methamphetamine labs had a favorable trial court ruling reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday.
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7th Circuit rejects denial of disabled woman’s benefits

September 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding repeated fault with the administrative law judge who denied a Chandler woman Social Security disability payments, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case to the Social Security Administration.
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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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