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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues one Indiana decision today

In Keith, Kenneth v. Barnhart, Jo Anne, Comm. of Soc.Sec. (SD Ind., Judge Young), a 16-page, 3-0 opinion, Judge Coffee writes:
Kenneth Keith filed a sixth application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act (“the Act”), in June of 1993, alleging that he had been disabled under the Act since March 10, 1977, due to his back problems and postpolio impairments. After a hearing, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) determined that Keith was not disabled at any time prior to his loss of insured status in 1982, and denied his application. Thereafter, he sought review, filing an action in the district court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), alleging that he was entitled to a new hearing as his right to due process had been violated due to the ALJ’s bias against him. The district court dismissed his claim. We disagreed, holding that the ALJ’s overall actions raised the appearance of bias, reversed the decision and ordered that the case be remanded to the Social Security Administration for further proceedings.

Having received a second hearing before another administrative law judge, and after his application for benefits had been denied and his appeals exhausted, Keith is once again before us alleging that the denial of his application was the product of the ALJ’s bias against him rather than based upon a proper consideration of the evidence. We affirm.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 16, 2007 01:47 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions