Veteranclaims’s Blog

August 3, 2010

9th Circuit UpHolds SSA Denial of Benefits to 100% PTSD Veteran

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 2:37 pm

“In Monday’s ruling, Bybee said that the statements of Turner and his doctor lacked independent verification, and that the VA’s assessment was not binding on Social Security or the courts.”

Full Article at: Denial of Social Security to Vietnam vet upheld

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

“A wounded Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, who lives in a remote area and said he has frequent flashbacks, isn’t entitled to Social Security disability benefits because there is work he could still perform, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday.

James L. Turner’s mental condition would not prevent him from holding a job where he could work alone at “simple, repetitive tasks,” such as a cleaner, laundry sorter or folding machine operator, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

In the 2-1 ruling, Judge Jay Bybee noted that Turner, despite back pain from bullet and shrapnel wounds, repairs fences and does other chores on an Oregon ranch in exchange for his lodging. He said the Social Security Administration was entitled to reject claims by Turner and his doctor that he is psychologically unable to work.

The ruling drew an impassioned dissent from Judge Ronald Gould, who uses a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis. Gould said medical testimony established that Turner is severely impaired and would endanger himself and others if he was yanked from his isolated setting into the workforce.

“Turner is the real deal – a decorated Vietnam veteran with two Purple Hearts who had a hard time of it over there … and who, back here, has a hard time of it getting his entitlement,” Gould said. He said the Social Security Administration is “deaf and blind” to Turner’s plight.”

“The Department of Veterans Affairs rated him 30 percent disabled in 1987, entitling him to veterans’ benefits, and listed him 100 percent disabled as of 1997. Turner applied for Social Security benefits in 2002, saying he had been disabled from work since 1990.

“In Monday’s ruling, Bybee said that the statements of Turner and his doctor lacked independent verification, and that the VA’s assessment was not binding on Social Security or the courts.”

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