Archives

Archives: 9/7/2007 – 5/30/2008


Pfeiffer v. Astrue, No. 07-C-566 (W.D. Wisc. May 30, 2008). The Court issued a remand in this case because the ALJ failed to properly weigh the medical opinions of record, which the Court noted showed greater limitations than the ALJ found. Additionally, the Court noted that the ALJ inappropriately dismissed the opinion of Plaintiff’s psychotherapist, contrary to SSR 06-3p, as an unacceptable medical source and failed to follow SSR 00-4p and verify that the VE’s testimoy was consistent with the DOT.  Mr. Pfeiffer was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Heather Aloe.

posted 5/30/2008


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s Workplace Issues section on May 19, 2008: Offset Ruling Beneficial to Claimants.Click on the link to read the article.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2008, Mark DeBofsky spoke during a 90-minute ABA TIPS teleconference about, “Mental Illness Clauses in Disability Income Insurance Policies.”  The program will be teleconferenced from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.

posted 5/21/2008


Dillon v. Astrue, No. 07-C-3652 (N.D. Ill. May 8, 2008). The Court issued a remand in this case because the ALJ: improperly considered Plaintiff’s alcohol addiction prior to finding him not disabled; failed to sufficiently explain his reasons for rejecting a treating doctor’s opinion; selectively relied on parts of a State agency opinion while ignoring other mental limitations noted in the MRFC; and erroneously relied upon the Medical-Vocational Grids and should have, at a minimum, called upon a Vocational Expert.  The Court also found troubling the ALJ’s dismissal of an examining opinion merely because Plaintiff’s attorney had arranged for the evaluation. Mr. Dillon was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Kim Jones and Suzanne Blaz.

posted 5/9/2008


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s Workplace Issues section on April 28, 2008: Court prevents review of doctor’s report.Click on the link to read the article.

The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s 50th annual Law Day issue on April 26, 2008: The year in employee benefits.Click on the link to read the article.

posted 4/28/2008


Hill v. Astrue, No. 07-C-200 (N.D. Ind. Apr. 16, 2008). The Court issued a remand in this case because the ALJ’s conclusion that Ms. Hill could perform light work is not supported by substantial evidence, the determination as to the height and length of her elevation of her foot was unsupported, the ALJ’s reasons for finding Ms. Hill not credible are contrary to SSR 96-7p and unpersuasive and the ALJ failed to follow SSR 00-4p. Ms. Hill was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Suzanne Blaz.

The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s Workplace Issues section on April 14, 2008: Court finds conflict in insurer, reviewer relationship.Click on the link to read the article.

On Thursday, May 15, 2008, Frederick J. Daley presented with Barry Schultz a talk about recent Federal Court Social Security cases at the Chicago Bar Association’s Social Security disability law meeting.

White v. Astrue, No. 06-C-5610 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 10, 2008). The Court issued a remand in this case because the ALJ failed to follow the Appeals Council’s remand instructions, failed to follow SSR 96-7p and make a proper credibility determination, improperly dismissed Mr. White’s memory problems and erroneously found him capable of performing past work despite numerous conflicts between the jobs’ demands and his RFC opinion. Mr. White was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Kate Hoppe and Suzanne Blaz.

posted 4/16/2008


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s Workplace Issues section on March 31, 2008: Struggle over ‘mental illness’ exclusions.Click on the link to read the article.

posted 4/1/2008


Juszynski v. LINA, No. 06-C-5503 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 28, 2008). The Court granted summary judgment in this case noting that the totality of the evidence favored continuation, not termination, of Mr. Juszynski’s LTD benefits and that LINA selectively reviewed the evidence when it chose to terminate benefits by disregarding consistent and largely uncontradicted treatment records.  Mr. Juszynski was represented by Mark DeBofsky.

posted 3/31/2008


Maki v. Astrue, No. 2:07-C-282 (E.D. Wisc. Mar. 18, 2008). The Court issued a remand in this case because the ALJ: erroneously found the treating doctor’s assessment inconsistent with Ms. Maki’s work activity; erroneously held attempting to work against Ms. Maki when her attempt to work only further supports her allegations of disability; failed to properly discuss, assess and weigh all of the medical evidence as instructed by the Appeals Council; failed to adequately consider whether Ms. Maki met or equaled Listing 1.04A; did not follow the requirements of the Appeals Council regarding assessing Ms. Maki’s mental impairments; failed to trace a path from the evidence to the RFC conclusions, failing to make a proper RFC determination pursuant to SSR 96-8p; failed to provide the frequency of Ms. Maki’s sit-stand option as required by SSR 96-9p; and failed to meet his burden at step five of the sequential evaluation. Ms. Maki was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Suzanne Blaz.

The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on March 17, 2008: Court Nixes Insurer Offset for Dependent SSA Benefits.Click on the link to read the article.

posted 3/18/2008


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on March 3, 2008: Rulings uphold State power over review clauses.Click on the link to read the article

posted 3/3/2008


Paska v. Astrue, No. 07-C-3447 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 6, 2008). The Court  issued a remand in this case because the ALJ: erred by ignoring medical evidence and GAF scores suggestive of greater mental limitations, thus, failing to comply with the requirement that she fully and fairly evaluate all of the medical evidence in the record and adversely affecting the credibility determination; inappropriately held Plaintiff’s going out for disability related appointments and obtaining help from his friends against his allegations of disabling mental limitations;  failed to properly build a bridge from the evidence to his findings; and erroneously made hypotheticals without relying on any medical opinion or report.  Mr. Paska was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Suzanne Blaz.

The followingarticle by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on February 11, 2008: A Painful Burden For Disability Claimants.Click on the link to read the article.

posted 2/28/2008


Kohel v. Astrue, No. 07-C-528 (E.D. Wisc. Feb. 1, 2008). The Court  issued a remand in this case because the ALJ:  failed to properly consider Plaintiff’s nebulizer use and how often it would cause him to be off task; failed to provide reasons to resolve discrepancies between reports he credited; failed to state what weight he gave to a consultative examiner’s report; failed to provide specific reasons as to why Plaintiff was not credible; and failed to properly develop the evidence regarding Plaintiff’s previously acquired job skills to properly determine whether any were transferable.  Mr. Kohel was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Heather Aloe and Suzanne Blaz.

Rodriguez v. Astrue, No. 07-C-186 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 29, 2008). The Court issued a remand in this case because the ALJ: failed to follow SSR 82-61 by failing to take notice of the conflicts between the VE’s testimony and the DOT and by failing to resolve the apparent inconsistencies between the RFC and functional demands and job duties of can sorting as generally required throughout the national economy; and by failing to follow SSR 00-4p when determining that there were other jobs Plaintiff could purportedly perform in the current national economy.  Mr. Rodriguez was represented by Marcie E. Goldbloom with assistance from Suzanne Blaz.

posted 2/1/2008


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on January 28, 2008: 10th Circuit sticks to ‘review proceeding’.Click on the link to read the article.

Szczecina v. Astrue–> Whisenant v. Astrue, No. 1:06-C-5322 (N.D. IL Jan. 10, 2008). The Court issued a remand in this case because the ALJ: erred in finding Whisenant’s subjective complaints of pain not credible without explaining her reasons for discrediting the medical reports of neuropathy and fibromyalgia; failed to take into account the written observation of Whisenant’s seizure; failed to build a bridge from the evidence to her conclusions; and, as a result of the above errors, failed to pose accurate hypotheticals to the VE.  Ms. Whisenant was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Marcie E. Goldbloom and Suzanne Blaz.

The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on January 7, 2008: Wrongly used standard can deny worthy benefits.Click on the link to read the article.

posted 1/10/2008


David A. Bryant presented, “How to Market Yourself and Your Practice More Effectively” with Scott Elkind in a national teleconference presented by Lorman Education Services.

posted 12/13/2007


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on November 26, 2007: Examining the nature of illness and injury.Click on the link to read the article.

posted 11/27/2007


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on November 12, 2007: Credibility should have been the issue in review<.Click on the link to read the article.

posted 11/12/2007


Carl v. Astrue, No. 07-C-209 (W.D. WI Nov. 7, 2007). The Court  issued a remand in this case because the ALJ: failed to appropriately consider and weigh the opinions of Plaintiff’s treating physicians and discounted their opinions without substantial evidence in support; failed to consider all of the evidence provided to him and failed to build a bridge from the evidence to his conclusions; made an inadequate credibility finding that failed to follow SSR 96-7p and improperly considered daily activities that were minimal at best; and failed to properly assess Plaintiff’s mental limitations and incorporate them into the RFC and hypotheticals. Ms. Carl was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Heather Aloe.

posted 11/2/2007


Zimpfer v. Astrue, No. 3:06-C-704 (N.D. IN Nov. 2, 2007). The Court  issued a remand in this case because the ALJ failed to make a proper credibility determination supported by substantial evidence, which made the ALJ’s RFC and Step 5 findings inherently flawed.  Ms. Zimpfer was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Suzanne Blaz.

Ruiz v. Astrue, No. 05-C-6098 (N.D. IL Oct. 30, 2007). The Court  issued a remand in this case because the ALJ: failed to explain her RFC determination and trace a path from the evidence to her conclusions; erred in finding Ms. Ruiz capable of her past work as a nursing coordinator because she did not inquire into the demands of that position; and failed to follow SSR 96-7p and make a proper credibility determination.  Ms. Ruiz was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Suzanne Blaz.

posted 11/2/2007


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on October 29, 2007: Benefit plan took the necessary stepsClick on the link to read the article.

posted 10/29/2007


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on October 15, 2007: Court refuses to rubber-stamp denialClick on the link to read the article.

posted 10/16/2007


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on October 1, 2007: Line between ‘job’ and ‘occupation’Click on the link to read the article.

Khoury v. Astrue, Case No.: 1:04-cv-05452 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 30, 2007). The Court  issued a remand in this case because the ALJ: failed to give specific reasons for his credibility finding and failed to follow SSR 96-7p by obtaining and considering evidence that would shed light on Mr. Khoury’s credibility; failed to follow SSR 004-p; and failed to supply VE data to counsel.  Mr. Khoury was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Violet Borowski and Heather Aloe.

posted 10/2/2007


Marshall v. Astrue, No. 2:06-C-0264 (N.D. IN Sept. 25, 2007). The Court  issued a remand in this case because the ALJ made an erroneous credibility finding, failed to evaluate MRFC by failing to perform a special technique, and did not properly examine the requirements of Ms. Marshall’s past work at Step Four.  The Court mandates that the ALJ include a Step Five determination on remand, and also suggested that the ALJ get an MSS from the CE to further illuminate the extent of Ms. Marshall’s mental limitations.  Ms. Marshall was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Violet Borowski and Suzanne Blaz.

Underwood  v. Astrue, No. 1:07-C-0001 (N.D. IL Sept. 20, 2007). The Court  issued a remand in this case because the ALJ failed to include all Ms. Underwood’s mental limitations into the RFC and hypotheticals resulting in erroneous VE testimony.  Ms. Underwood was represented by Frederick J. Daley, Jr. with assistance from Violet Borowski and Suzanne Blaz.

posted 9/26/2007


The following article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin‘s Workplace Issues section on September 17, 2007: 7th Circuit Ruling puts ERISA litigation back on trackClick on the link to read the article.

posted 9/17/2007


David A. Bryant presented, “Everything You Need to Know about Medicare, ERISA and Social Security Issues” on September 7, 2007 at the UBS Tower in Springfield.

posted 9/7/2007


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