Byline: R.I. Lawyers Weekly Staff
Where a plaintiff was denied Supplemental Security Income benefits under the Social Security Act, the plaintiff's motion for a remand should be granted because there is not substantial evidence in this record to support the Social Security Commissioner's decision and findings that the plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Act.
"The ALJ decided this case adverse to Plaintiff at Step 5. At Step 2, the ALJ found that Plaintiff's arthralgia, OCD, depression, panic disorder and connective tissue disorder were severe impairments. The ALJ, however, found that Plaintiff's neurocardiogenic syncope (a fainting disorder) was not a severe impairment because it had only minimal effect on the ability to work. The ALJ assessed an RFC for a limited range of medium work. Finally, the ALJ denied the claim at Step 5 concluding that Plaintiff's RFC did not preclude available unskilled work.
"Plaintiff faults the ALJ for mischaracterizing a medical record. Defendant concedes that he did so but argues that the error is harmless given the weight of the evidence. I disagree. The medical record in question was prepared by Dr. Turshen, a primary care physician. ... He documents that Plaintiff worked at La Z Boy for a few months and had 'a lot of pain so stopped,' tried working at Williams Sonoma but back and neck 'got worse' and she left after a few weeks, and that pain was her 'number one issue.' ... The ALJ mistakenly cites this medical record for the proposition that Dr. Turshen determined that a lot of Plaintiff's pain stopped in 2019. ... It is undisputed that Dr. Turshen did not make that determination in the cited record. Rather, he documented Plaintiff's reported pain...