Judge Jones Talks Social Security

On April 18 and 19, 2011, Judge Jones oversaw three court cases versus Michael J. Astrue, the Commissioner of Social Security.

The first was brought by Jeannie M. Marshall, who challenged that the decision of the Commissioner to deny her claims for more security income benefits under provisions of the Social Security Act.

Marshall, 31, sought a disability determination based on both her physical and mental limitations.  Although it was found that she did, indeed, suffer from these, she still had the capability to perform jobs available within the economy.  Siding with Asture, Judge Jones found that Marshall should be denied the benefits.

In the next case, James M. Stanley was denied his claim for disability insurance benefits and an increase in security income.  At the age of 28 in 2006, Stanley filed for the benefits based on his high blood pressure, depression, obesity, hypertension, and dyslexia.  He claimed that due to these impairments, he was offered limited education, inability to read and write, and borderline retardation.

After reviewing Stanley’s doctors and test records, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) determined that Stanley had the residual functional capacity to perform medium exertion work, as long as his mental limitations were taken into account. With more research provided, it was discovered that there were over 80,000 jobs that he would be able to do.  Concluding the hearing, Judge Jones affirmed the Commissioner’s decision to deny Stanley benefits.

In the third social security hearing, Judge Jones did not side with the Commissioner.  Ronnie Edwards also filed for disability insurance benefits and an increase in social security income benefits due to his arthritic degenerating discs, heart problems, carpal tunnel, and numbness in his right leg.

The ALJ found that Edwards suffered from minimal limitations in his ability to work.  Edwards argued that this decision was not supported by substantial evidence, which led Judge Jones to send the case back for recalculation and payment of benefits to Edwards.

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