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Alaska District Court Reverses ALJ

Osterhout Berger Daley > Case Summaries  > Alaska District Court Reverses ALJ

Alaska District Court Reverses ALJ

October 14, 2016.  The claimant in this case suffered from chronic pain, arthritis, fatigue, and depression.  His treating physician offered a “poor, ultimately crippling” prognosis, opining that the claimant could perform less than a full range of light work, however, the ALJ rejected this opinion and further, discredited the claimant’s complaints because of his lack of consistent treatment.  We argued that the denial of benefits in this case was erroneous, in part, because the claimant’s lack of treatment was explained by his lack of insurance and financial resources.  The district court agreed, finding that the ALJ had a duty to question the claimant about his sporadic medical care or request a medical evaluation prior to making a denial based on insufficient evidence.