An Administrative Law Judge issued a favorable decision today that approved the Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application of my client, a former firefighter, without requiring a hearing.
The State agency had denied the claimant’s SSD application on the fraudulent grounds that the claimant had failed to be examined by its doctors from Industrial Medicine Associates (“IMA”). That assertion was untrue. The claimant was ready, willing, and able, to be examined by IMA, and appeared at IMA’s office at the designated date and time for his consultative examination (“CE”). However, IMA refused to proceed with the CE because the claimant brought a camera to videotape the CE. In other words, it was IMA, not the claimant, who refused to proceed with the CE.
There is no rule, regulation, statute, guideline, or case law that precludes an SSD claimant from recording his or her CE. There have been countless times where IMA doctors have been banned from performing CE’s, or their opinions have been rejected, after substantial evidence or cross examinations showed they falsified CE findings. If IMA doctors perform CEs in accordance with the regulations, then they should have nothing to hide, and should have no problem with the videotaping. Videotaping an IMA CE is consistent with the SSA recording experts and witnesses at hearings.
IMA has a protracted history of acting improperly. Read some of my prior entries on this topic: 11/22/10, 6/6/12, 5/17/12, 10/5/11, 6/29/12, 6/16/12, 3/8/10, 8/31/12, 8/11/08, 4/21/10, 6/4/12, 9/8/10, 8/16/12.
IMA has a contract with New York State to perform CEs, for which it gets paid a ton of taxpayer money. Medical Experts at hearings are videotaped, and IMA has no excuse or legal authority to justify its refusal to have its doctors videotaped while performing a CE ordered and paid for by New York State. Perhaps if IMA refuses to perform a large number of CEs when claimants try to videotape them, the State will terminate or refuse to renew its contract with IMA.