U.S. District Court, WDNY
Social Security Disability
Vocational Expert — Transferable Skills
Fee v. Astrue
Background: The plaintiff sought review of the commissioner of Social Security’s determination that he was not disabled under the Social Security Act. The plaintiff alleged that he was disabled due to a number of health issues including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, back spasms and morbid obesity.
Ruling: The District Court reversed and remanded for the calculation and payment of benefits. The court found that the judge had erred in concluding that a vocational expert’s testimony had established that the plaintiff was capable of returning to his past relevant work. Specifically, the VE’s testimony stated that the claimant’s current skill set could not transfer to actual jobs available in the market.
Howard D. Olinsky of Olinsky & Shurtliff for the plaintiff; Kathryn L. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the defendant