The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Lugo V. Sec'y HHS

Date: 
01/01/1986

Cardiac and mental impairments. Although the Secretary is not bound by a psychiatrist's "sweeping conclusion" as to disability, when uncontroverted evidence exists as to mental impairment, the Secretary should assess the impact of the alleged mental impairment on the claimant's ability to engage in SGA. Grid cannot be applied if claimant's nonexertional impairment significantly affects claimant's ability to perform the full range of jobs requiring medium or lesser work. Secretary must use other means, such as evidence procured from vocational experts, to meet her burden of proving the availability of jobs in the national economy that claimant can perform. None of the physicians who examined claimant provided any medical findings concerning the impact of his heart condition on his residual functional capacity. Neither the Appeals Council nor the court is qualified to make this medical judgment about residual functional capacity based solely on bare medical findings as to claimant's heart condition. The claimant has the burden of showing disability serious enough to prevent him from working at his former jobs. The burden then shifts to the Secretary to show the existence of other jobs in the national economy that the claimant can nonetheless perform. Where no examining physician has provided "any medical findings concerning the impact of [claimant's] heart condition or his residual functional capacity... [n]either the Appeals Council nor this court is qualified to make this medical judgment about residual functional capacity based solely on bare medical findings as to claimant's heart condition." None of the physicians who examined claimant provided any medical findings concerning the impact of his heart condition on his residual functional capacity.


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