The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Mills V. Apfel

Date: 
01/01/2001

cert. denied 534 U.S. 1085 122 S.Ct. 822, 151 L.Ed.2d 704 (1/7/2002). Determination by Appeals Council that new evidence is not material is reviewable by Federal Court under Service v. Dulles, 354 U.S. 363, 1 L.Ed.2d 1403, 77 S.Ct. 1152 (1957) standard - i.e., decision is reviewable to extent that it rests on an explicit mistake of law or other egregious error. ALJ did not err in deciding the case at step 4 instead of step 5 because the result would have been the same. Court assumes that assembly line and motel laundress jobs, or substantially similar jobs, exist in the economy and that claimant is not disabled if she is capable of doing these jobs. Courts can remand for further proceedings where post-hearing evidence is new and material and there is good cause for failure to present it on a timely basis. Issue (whether claimant's sporadic prior employment should have been considered at Step 4) is waived if it is not raised at the ALJ hearing, at least where the Appeals Council refuses to review the ALJ's decision and it becomes a final decision. However, failure to raise an issue at the Appeal Council does not bar Federal Court review of the issue provided it was raised with ALJ (see Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103; 120 S. Ct. 2080; 147 L. Ed. 2d 80 (2000)). When the Appeals Court properly denies review of an ALJ's decision, the Federal Court may only look at the evidence presented to the ALJ unless there is good cause for failure to present evidence to ALJ.


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