SW Legal studies in Business

Determination That No Work Disability Benefits Are Due Is Upheld
Description

Appeals court found substantial evidence to support the conclusion of the Social Security Commissioner that an applicant was not due employment disability benefits. The disability claim was based on personal statements, not medical evidence.

Topic Employment Law
Key Words

Disability Benefits; Social Security; Work Capacity

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Griffin filed for Social Security disability benefits due to inability to work. Prior to having a heart bypass operation, she had worked at a hotel. She answered the phone, checked guests in and out, and prepared reports of daily receipts. Most of the time was spent standing or walking. She contended that as a result of the surgery, the standing and walking was too difficult and that her memory was impaired. Her application for disability income was rejected, finding that she was capable of doing work. She appealed, but the determination that she could work was upheld by an administrative law judge and the Social Security Commissioner. The district court upheld that determination. Griffin appealed again.

Decision

Affirmed. The evidence supported the determination that Griffin retained the capacity to return to her previous job. The testimony about leg pain and impaired memory was only her own testimony; there was no evidence presented from her physician that indicated that she was not capable of working. In such cases, Congress has provided that the review by a court of the finding of the Commissioner is to see if there is substantial evidence to support the position of the Commissioner. That being the case, that determination is upheld.

Citation Griffin v. Commissioner, 305 Fed.Apps. 886 (2009 WL 7881, 3rd Cir., 2009)

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