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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides a second Indiana case today, also a reversal

In Farrell v. Comm. of Social Security (ND Ind., Rodovich), a 14-page opinion, Judge Wood writes:

Angela Farrell suffers from anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, insomnia, vertigo, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and plantar fasciitis. Citing this array of impairments, she applied for disability insurance benefits; as of the date of her application, she was almost 34 years old. Her initial application was denied, but the Social Security Administration Appeals Council remanded her case for reconsideration. On remand, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) once again ruled against her, in part because of her failure to establish definitively that she suffered from fibromyalgia. The Appeals Council summarily affirmed this decision, despite new evidence before it that confirmed the fibromyalgia. The district court in turn affirmed that ruling, and Farrell now appeals. We reverse. The Social Security Administration’s own regulations require the Appeals Council to consider “new and material evidence,” but it did not do so in this case. In addition, several other aspects of the ALJ’s decision independently require correction. Because these warrant reversal in and of themselves (that is, without regard to the error committed by the Appeals Council), we follow the procedure that normally applies when the Appeals Council denies review and remand to the ALJ.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 28, 2012 01:12 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions