CA-8 finds ALJ’s development of the record adequate
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

CA-8 finds ALJ’s development of the record adequate

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

The claimant argued on appeal that the ALJ misconstrued the record in denying her application for benefits. Specifically, she argued that the ALJ failed to adequately develop the record by relying too heavily on evidence predating her surgery, focused too narrowly on one of her ailments, and overly discounted her subjective statements concerning limitations on daily activities. The court disagreed. Noting that the extensive medical evidence of treatments presented a mixed record, the court concluded that the ALJ did not fail to acknowledge test results or other treatments. Rather, the ALJ placed different but permissible weight on such evidence. The ALJ partially rejected opinion evidence from one treating physician and also from a non-examining physician, finding that the opinions provided insufficient explanation and were inconsistent with the balance of the medical evidence in the record. Furthermore, the claimant’s testimony regarding her daily activities was vague and did not clearly call into question the ALJ’s conclusions. The court reiterated that although the record could have supported a different outcome, the ALJ’s decision was supported by substantial evidence. The denial of benefits was affirmed (Jeannie Lawrence v. Saul, CA-8, No. 19-2355, July 31, 2020).

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