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Author Topic: mjwhite1- Received remand letter!  (Read 1862 times)

Mjwhite1

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mjwhite1- Received remand letter!
« on: May 19, 2018, 03:42:57 pm »
My remand letter arrived today!!

It was actually the reprint that was mailed out on Wednesday, not the original, I am soo happy they did that for me. My remand was issued using 3 provisions: error of law, the substantial evidence, and additional evidence.

I could not be happier that they accepted ALL of my new records and diagnosis' since my hearing, AND they also accepted some points I made in my original brief (how my treating dr was not considered or given any weight whatsoever), AND they accepted some points in my second brief (that the ME first coined my new diagnosis during the hearing which was later confirmed to be correct by multiple sources), THEN they also found some errors of their own as well (my husbands opinion was completely disregarded and apparently the ALJ didn't properly evaluate my self employment). It isn't a de novo hearing, but it might as well be as the new ALJ has to completely evaluate my new complete record and re-weigh everything using the new information.

For those not following my journey, my attorney submitted a placeholder appeal saying "appealing because claimant cannot work" or something to that effect and then fired me. I then took it upon myself to comb through the denial and my medical records and submitted a brief during the 25 day window, which details several errors the ALJ made. I then sent in updated records and an additional brief 6 months later, because my diagnosis was corrected and it was substantial and relevant to the disability, since onset.

My remand is 4 pages, the first page just says that it was remanded and what that means. Here is a summary of the following three pages. Unfortunately, I cannot type it all word for word as my disability is in my hands and it would hurt too much.

The Appeals Council grants the request for review under the substantial evidence, error of law, and additional evidence provisions of the SSA regulations 20 CFR 404.970. The AC vacates the hearing decision and remands this case to an ALJ for resolution of the following issues:

*The ALJ found the claimants work as a photographer after her alleged onset date of disability was not SGA. However, the claimant's self employment income for this period was not considered under the 3 part test for evaluating self-employment. Further evaluation at step 1 is necessary.

*The ALJ did not adequately evaluate the opinion of medical expert Dr xxx who testified during the claimant's hearing. The ALJ indicated that she gave great weight to Dr. xxx's opinion that the claimant has not had residual work-related limitations from her DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis for a period of 12 months or longer but did not address Dr. xxx's opinion that there may be a related somatization given the claimants diagnosis with major depression (hearing recording referenced). The AC notes that the medical records that the claimant submitted with her request for review document that Dr xxxx, an orthopedist, diagnosed the claimant with somatization with depression. In addition, PsyD Dr xxx diagnosed the claimant with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Panic Disorder, Major Depression, and Somatic Symptom Disorder (evidence referenced)

*The ALJ did not adequately evaluate the third party function report that the claimants husband submitted. The ALJ's explanation that rephrasing or reassertion of the claimant's own allegations, in a different format, is not a basis for finding of a disability, is inconsistent with 20 CFR 404.1527(f). Discounting the opinion of a nontreating source because it is consistent with the claimants allegations suggests that such opinion evidence is inherently of little probative value, which is not consistent with 20 CFR 404.1527(f)

Upon remand the ALJ will:
*Evaluate whether the claimant's work as a photographer was substantial gainful activity using the guide for evaluating self-employment work activity that is set forth in 20 CFR 404.1575

* Give further consideration to claimants maximum residual functional capacity and provide appropriate rationale with specific references to evidence of record in support of the assessed limitations

*Further evaluate the third party function report that the claimants husband submitted.

*Give further consideration to the treating and non treating source opinion pursuant to the provisions of 20 CFR 404.1527 and nonexamining source opinion pursuant to the provisions, and explain the weight given to such opinion evidence. As appropriate the ALJ may request the treating and non treating source to provide additional evidence and/or further clarification of the opinion.

*If warranted, obtain supplemental evidence from a vocational expert to clarify the effect of the assessed limitations on the claimants occupational base. The hypothetical questions should reflect the specific capacity/limitations established by the records as a whole. The ALJ will ask the VE to identify examples of appropriate jobs and to state the incidence of such jobs in the national economy. Further, before relying on the VE evidence the ALJ will identify and resolve any conflicts between the occupational evidence provided by the VE and information in the DOT and its companion publication, the Selected Characteristics of Occupations.

In compliance with the above, the ALJ will offer the claimant an opportunity for a hearing, address the evidence which was submitted with the request for review, take any further action needed to complete the administrative record and issue a new decision.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 05:40:02 pm by Mjwhite1 »
Somatic Symptom Dis, DID, MDD, GAD, Panic, PTSD
AOD 10/13-32
Applied 10/14-Dnd
ALJ 04/26/17-Dnd 5/10/17
AC 6/17-assigned 3/29/18-Rmnd 5/9/18
ALJ 4/9/19-writer 6/14/19-Dnd 6/27/19
AC 7/19-analyst 4/2 & 6/8-adjudicator 4/17 & 6/16-Dnd 6/16/20
Fed 6/29/20-Rmnd 4/14/22
ALJ 07/19/22-writer 7/29-dnd 8/16

Kicksnomore

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Re: mjwhite1- Received remand letter!
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 04:22:19 pm »
MJ - glad you finally got your remand.  Looks like they found a lot.  I am surprised it’s not a de novo hearing, but like you said he has to address a lot.  I hope you get an attorney soon and a new hearing quickly.

Good luck!!
Disability: RA
Applied: 3/2015 (onset 8/2014)
First Denial: 6/15
Reconsideration Denial: 8/15
Hearing: 7/17
ALJ Denial: 9/17
AC Appeal: 11/19
AC Remand: 4/19
ALJ Hearing 2: 3/20
Fully favorable: 3/20

Mjwhite1

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Re: mjwhite1- Received remand letter!
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 05:47:42 pm »
MJ - glad you finally got your remand.  Looks like they found a lot.  I am surprised it’s not a de novo hearing, but like you said he has to address a lot.  I hope you get an attorney soon and a new hearing quickly.

Good luck!!

Thanks Kicks. Feels so good reading it, even though I am not totally sure I understand all of it.

I have already sent it out to the attorney I want and hope to hear back from them in the next few days with whether or not they will take the case. Then I can sit back and wait.

Your next! Cant wait to see what you hear in June!!!
Somatic Symptom Dis, DID, MDD, GAD, Panic, PTSD
AOD 10/13-32
Applied 10/14-Dnd
ALJ 04/26/17-Dnd 5/10/17
AC 6/17-assigned 3/29/18-Rmnd 5/9/18
ALJ 4/9/19-writer 6/14/19-Dnd 6/27/19
AC 7/19-analyst 4/2 & 6/8-adjudicator 4/17 & 6/16-Dnd 6/16/20
Fed 6/29/20-Rmnd 4/14/22
ALJ 07/19/22-writer 7/29-dnd 8/16

SFVLance

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Re: mjwhite1- Received remand letter!
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2018, 05:58:25 pm »
Congratulations again...it sounds like you have a really strong shot at your second hearing, if it's not approved before then.

my treating dr was not considered or given any weight whatsoever

This is not based on any formal study, but I have to wonder why the ALJs, as a whole, seem to discount claimants' treating physicians so much...especially when it appears to be such a common remand reason.
Los Angeles, CA

Short Version: Filed June 2012 at age 46; major depression + general anxiety. Denied all the way. Fed district court remanded, 2nd hearing delayed twice (11 months total delay). Bench approval at remand hearing in March 2017. Took over six months to receive closed-period award pymt.

Mjwhite1

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Re: mjwhite1- Received remand letter!
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 07:07:33 pm »
Congratulations again...it sounds like you have a really strong shot at your second hearing, if it's not approved before then.

my treating dr was not considered or given any weight whatsoever

This is not based on any formal study, but I have to wonder why the ALJs, as a whole, seem to discount claimants' treating physicians so much...especially when it appears to be such a common remand reason.

Thanks SFVLance. There is definitely a HUGE sigh of relief in seeing this all come together after so many years of uphill battles leading nowhere. I feel so good about this hearing.

I see that as well, with the discounting treating physicians and have even seen that it is in the top 10 reasons for remands for several years based on info SSA has released. You would think they would try a little harder? But I guess, the workload is so full that things slip through. Its funny though how they focused so hard on addressing and discrediting every random treating opinion who only saw me once or twice, but they missed my main general practitioner altogether. In my case, I guess I am grateful they did because without that major error, I may not have had enough errors or attention on my case to allow my new evidence in, so it really worked in my favor.
Somatic Symptom Dis, DID, MDD, GAD, Panic, PTSD
AOD 10/13-32
Applied 10/14-Dnd
ALJ 04/26/17-Dnd 5/10/17
AC 6/17-assigned 3/29/18-Rmnd 5/9/18
ALJ 4/9/19-writer 6/14/19-Dnd 6/27/19
AC 7/19-analyst 4/2 & 6/8-adjudicator 4/17 & 6/16-Dnd 6/16/20
Fed 6/29/20-Rmnd 4/14/22
ALJ 07/19/22-writer 7/29-dnd 8/16

Bonzai

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Re: mjwhite1- Received remand letter!
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2018, 07:19:42 pm »
I read this earlier and pondered on it.

It is seems to be good and bad news.

The bad news is that the AC has ordered the ALJ to re-evaluate your self-employment after your alleged onset date to see if it was SGA, if so then it would mean that the established onset date could be no earlier than the date of last self-employment.

The good news is: The ALJ has to reconsider your maximum RFC specifying their rationale for assigning the limitations; Accept your husband's third party adult function report;  Re-evaluate medical opinions of treating and non-treating sources and give rationale for assigning weights; Redo the VE portion of the previous hearing; and the ALJ has to offer you a remand hearing instead of responding to AC about one or two issues.

Not a De Novo hearing, but pretty close.
"If one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?"
"All the way to the scene of the crash!" - Ron White

Mjwhite1

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Re: mjwhite1- Received remand letter!
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2018, 07:34:43 pm »
I read this earlier and pondered on it.

It is seems to be good and bad news.

The bad news is that the AC has ordered the ALJ to re-evaluate your self-employment after your alleged onset date to see if it was SGA, if so then it would mean that the established onset date could be no earlier than the date of last self-employment.

The good news is: The ALJ has to reconsider your maximum RFC specifying their rationale for assigning the limitations; Accept your husband's third party adult function report;  Re-evaluate medical opinions of treating and non-treating sources and give rationale for assigning weights; Redo the VE portion of the previous hearing; and the ALJ has to offer you a remand hearing instead of responding to AC about one or two issues.

Not a De Novo hearing, but pretty close.

Thanks Bonzai! Man, it feels so good hearing you break it down like that. I know the journey isn't over, and anything could happen, but I am celebrating winning this battle.

I was worried about that too, but I think it is just precautionary since no one actually asked for any records or details about the photography. I only made $2000 in a whole year and it all went back into the business so I am pretty confident that it won't count as SGA.

I will google the 3 self-employment tests in a moment, but if anyone has dealt with them before, please share your experience?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 08:13:47 pm by Mjwhite1 »
Somatic Symptom Dis, DID, MDD, GAD, Panic, PTSD
AOD 10/13-32
Applied 10/14-Dnd
ALJ 04/26/17-Dnd 5/10/17
AC 6/17-assigned 3/29/18-Rmnd 5/9/18
ALJ 4/9/19-writer 6/14/19-Dnd 6/27/19
AC 7/19-analyst 4/2 & 6/8-adjudicator 4/17 & 6/16-Dnd 6/16/20
Fed 6/29/20-Rmnd 4/14/22
ALJ 07/19/22-writer 7/29-dnd 8/16

ZetasNana

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Re: mjwhite1- Received remand letter!
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2018, 10:55:59 am »
MJ, I'm happy for you that you got your remand.   :Main18: