The Opelika, AL Social Security Disability Lawyers of Carmichael Law Group LLC are pleased to announce in Kelly v. Colvin, 2:15-CV-380-CSC (M.D. Ala. May 23, 2016), the Honorable Judge Coody for the Middle District of Alabama determined that the ALJ committed reversible error in failing to apply the proper legal standard and improperly took judicial notice of facts not in evidence. The Court found that the ALJ did not conduct a searching inquiry into the plaintiff’s financial condition as it related to his lack of ability to seek medical treatment before issuing her negative credibility finding.
Social Security Disability Attorney Brian Carmichael argued that “[t]he Commissioner’s decision should be reversed because in issuing her negative credibility finding the ALJ failed to apply the proper legal standard and improperly took judicial notice of facts not in evidence.” The Court took note of the fact the ALJ did not ask Claimant about his efforts to secure medical treatment and did not discuss Claimant’s financial condition at any point during the hearing.
The court found that the ALJ erred as a matter of law when she “failed to develop the record with regard to whether relevant free community resources existed. And when she discredited the plaintiff’s testimony for failing to secure treatment.” The court found that the ALJ failed in her duty to develop the record. As such, the decision of the ALJ was reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
We are looking forward to arguing on our client’s behalf in the new administrative hearing and advocating for him to get the Social Security disability benefits he was previously denied. If you live in Alabama or Georgia and your claim was recently denied by the Appeals Council, we will happily review your matter to determine if we can assist you in filing a civil action in Federal Court.