Smith v. Kijakazi, No. 20-35487 (9th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's decision affirming the ALJ's 2019 decision denying claimant's application for social security disability benefits. The panel concluded that, although the ALJ's conclusion that claimant was not disabled at the time of the hearing was supported by substantial evidence, the ALJ did not adequately consider claimant's symptoms over time. The panel explained that the ALJ's failure to consider these changes over time impacted both her assessment of claimant's credibility and her analysis of the medical opinions. Therefore, on remand, the ALJ shall consider whether claimant was disabled and thus entitled to benefits, for some qualifying, earlier portion of his alleged disability period.