Hess v. O'Malley, No. 22-2694 (7th Cir. 2024)Annotate this Case
The plaintiff, Todd Hess, applied for supplemental security income, disability insurance benefits, and disabled adult child benefits, all of which are administered by the Social Security Administration. While his claims for supplemental security income and disability insurance benefits were approved, his claim for disabled adult child benefits was denied. To qualify for disabled adult child benefits, Hess had to prove that he had a disability that continued uninterrupted from before his 22nd birthday until the filing of his application for benefits. He claimed that his depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other impairments made him disabled during that entire period. However, after two hearings, an Administrative Law Judge disagreed, concluding that Hess was disabled as of June 9, 2009, but not before then. The ALJ's decision was based on gaps in Hess's treatment history, notes from his physicians, and occasional work he performed as an independent contractor. The Appeals Council did not assume jurisdiction, and the district court found that the ALJ's decision was supported by substantial evidence. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit agreed and affirmed the judgment of the district court.