U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Social Security Disability
Fibromyalgia — Uncontroverted Medical Evidence
Selian v. Astrue
Judges Kearse, Katzmann and Rakoff
Background: The plaintiff appealed from a determination by the commissioner of Social Security finding that he was disabled. The plaintiff argued that he was entitled to benefits on the ground that he is unable to work due to fibromyalgia, shoulder tendinitis and depression. The administrative law judge had found that the plaintiff’s claim that he suffered from fibromyalgia was not supported by substantial evidence, nor was the plaintiff’s residual capacity to perform light work.
Ruling: The Second Circuit vacated and remanded. The court found that the ALJ misconstrued the record. Specifically, the opinion of the claimant’s doctor concerning fibromyalgia was supported by medical evidence and not contradicted by substantial evidence on the record. The Second Circuit further found that the ALJ erred by not determining whether the plaintiff’s reaching limitation was non-negligible and would therefore require the testimony of a vocational expert.
Carolyn A. Kubitschek of Lansner & Kubitschek for the plaintiff-appellant; Robert R. Schriver, special assistant U.S. attorney, for the defendant-appellee