Workers' Compensation

United States: Workers’ Compensation Disability Findings Not Binding in Social Security Disability Claim

Observing that it is well settled law that an administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing a Social Security claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) need not give controlling weight to a treating physician's opinions concerning a claimant's “disability” in connection with a Worker's Compensation proceeding, a federal district court found that an ALJ had not erred in denying a DIB claim in spite of the fact that the claimant produced reports from multiple physicians that he was permanently totally disabled. The court stressed that the ALJ had correctly recognized that Workers' Compensation guidelines applied by the providers in reaching their conclusions did not necessarily coincide with federal disability regulations and, therefore, were not binding. The district court also observed that the ALJ had not ignored the reports prepared in connection with the workers’ compensation claim. The ALJ had given them appropriate deference. As recognized by the ALJ, none of the workers’ compensation treating providers assessed claimant’s capacity to perform work-related functions; rather, they merely provided conclusory statements concerning her ability to return to work.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Derosia v. Colvin, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149272 (Sept. 14, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 127.07.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law