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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decide one Indiana case Feb. 22, re SSA, a reversal

In Kathy Stark v. Carolyn Colvin (ND Ind., Van Bokkelen), a 9-page opinion, Judge Manion writes:

Kathy Stark, aged 60, applied for disability insurance benefits, primarily asserting that she is disabled by degenerative disc disease that causes severe back, neck, and hip pain. The ALJ denied her application largely on the basis that she did not testify credibly about the severity of her pain. We agree with Stark that the credibility analysis was flawed and remand the case to the agency for further proceedings. * * *

In assessing Stark’s credibility about the disabling effects of her pain, the ALJ should have acknowledged Stark’s efforts to continue work while experi-encing significant pain and undergoing numerous surgeries and other treatments to relieve it. See Pierce, 739 F.3d at 1051 (criticizing ALJ for failing to consider claimant’s “dogged efforts” to work in deciding claimant’s credibility); Flores v. Massanari, 19 F. App’x 393, 404 (7th Cir. 2001) (criticizing ALJ for failing to acknowledge claimant’s solid work history of 13 years).

We REVERSE the district court’s judgment and REMAND this case to the Commissioner for further proceedings.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 23, 2016 12:48 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions