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Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reverses district court order affirming denial of plaintiff’s SSDI benefits; finds that ALJ determination rejecting testimony of physicians was not supported by substantial evidence

On August 12, 2021, in Simon v. Commissioner, Social Security Administration, No. 19-14682, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals withdrew its previous opinion and issued a new opinion reversing a district court’s denial of the plaintiff’s application for Social Security disability insurance benefits under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The district court’s decision upheld a denial of the plaintiff’s application for Social Security Disability benefits by the SSA and the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the latter of which for appellate purposes is treated as the final decision of the SSA’s Commissioner. The Eleventh Circuit concluded that ALJ’s determination was not supported by substantial evidence. In particular, the Eleventh Circuit cited the ALJ’s failure to articulate good cause for rejecting the opinions of the plaintiff’s treating physician and a consulting psychiatrist as well as the plaintiff’s own testimony about his condition.

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