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McDonnell v. Astrue, 2011 WL 3475466 ( D.Mass., Aug. 8, 2011).

Date: 
08/08/2011
Author: 
SAYLOR, District Judge

Claimant appealed the Commissioner's denial of her SSDI application arguing that the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred by (1) failing to consider her morbid obesity when determining her ability to perform substantial gainful activity in violation of SSR 02–1p and (2) finding plaintiff's subjective complaints not credible without supporting that conclusion with specific facts and substantial evidence.

Judge Saylor affirmed the Commissioner's decision stating the ALJ supported his credibility determination with specific and substantial evidence (complyhing with the standard set forth in Da Rosa v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 803 F.2d 24, 26 (1st Cir.1986).

Reviewing the ALJ's determination of obesity the court stated in cases involving obesity the claimant must demonstrate what specific functional limitations result from the obesity diagnosis. " In order to find that plaintiff's obesity further impaired her ability to work, specific limitations related to plaintiff's obesity must be cited. See Skarbek v. Barnhart, 2004 WL 1445932, at *3 (7th Cir. June 23, 2004) (plaintiff “does not specify how his obesity further impaired his ability to work, but speculates merely that his weight makes it more difficult to stand and walk.”) (emphasis added); Senay v. Astrue, 2009 WL 229953, at *12 (D.R.I. Jan.30, 2009) (“Plaintiff did not testify to any limitations specifically attributable to her obesity at the ... hearing, nor does she now identify any limitations resulting from her obesity which she alleges should have been considered.”) (internal citations omitted)."

The court determined that the evidence in the record including the claimant's hearing testimony failed to connect her obesity to specific limitations (manipulative and postural).

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