District Judge Michael A. Telesca

 

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Under Title II of the Social Security Act, Meegan —a veteran initially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998—sought review of the commissioner’s final decision denying him disability insurance benefits. Adopting a magistrate judge’s findings—but declining the recommendation that the case be remanded for further consideration—the court remanded Meegan’s case solely for the calculation and payment of benefits. It thus denied the commissioner’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. The court found the record established Meegan’s disability pursuant to Listing 11.09(B). The court further determined that an administrative law judge failed to develop the record when he rejected the detailed, well-supported opinion of Meegan’s treating physician certified physicians assistant Michalski, in favor of giving “great weight” to the Jan. 16, 2014 examination findings of Dr. Hojnacki, which offered no functional assessment of Meegan’s limitations. Pursuant to regulations, Michalski was an “other source.” The ALJ erred in rejecting Michalski’s opinion for the sole reason that she was not an “accepted medical source” and because her “opinion was contrary to the finding of Dr. Hojnacki, which were largely normal.”