Dale v. Colvin, No. 14-35583 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Claimant appealed the denial of her application for supplemental security income. At issue is whether the ALJ erred in according “limited weight” to the opinion of a nurse practitioner. The court held that an ALJ errs when he discounts an other source’s entire testimony because of inconsistency with evidence in the record, when the ALJ has divided the testimony into distinct parts and determined that only one part of the testimony is inconsistent. Thus, the ALJ’s determination in this case that the nurse practitioner’s opinion regarding Claimant’s “exertional and postural” limitations was inconsistent with other evidence in the record was an insufficient reason to reject her testimony regarding Claimant’s manipulative and mental limitations. That error was not harmless, because the vocational expert opined that a person with the mental limitations identified by the nurse practitioner could not work. The court concluded that further proceedings are required to reconcile all the record evidence and to consider additional issues. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded.