Alabama Social Security ALJ Failed to Properly Evaluate Pain Testimony

aubrnalssdisabilitylawyersThe Auburn, AL Social Security Disability Attorneys of Carmichael Law Group LLC are pleased to report in Spinks v. Colvin, 3:12cv1095-SRW (M.D. Ala. July 18, 2014), the Honorable Judge Walker of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama recently agreed with our position that the ALJ committed reversible error in failing to provide specific rationale for rejecting the testimony provided by the claimant.

In the brief before the Court, our Alabama Disability Attorney argued that pursuant to Eleventh Circuit case law and Social Security Ruling 96-7p, if the ALJ refused to credit subjective pain testimony she must articulate specific reasons for questioning the claimant’s credibility.  As the ALJ failed to provide specific reasons to reject claimant’s testimony, we specifically requested that the Court reverse and remand the case consistent with the Court’s Murray opinion.

In agreeing with our position, the Court determined that “the ALJ failed to articulate specific reasons for finding [claimant’s] statements ‘not credible’ to some extent…Without such specific reasons, the Court cannot review the ALJ’s credibility determination for substantial evidentiary support.”  We are most pleased that the Hon. Judge Walker agreed with our position that the ALJ failed to provide specific reasons for questioning our client’s well supported testimony.

We look forward to the opportunity to aggressively argue how the evidence of record should direct a fully favorable decision at a new administrative hearing.  If you have questions regarding the pain standard in a Social Security Disability claim, please let us know and we would be happy to address your questions.