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Shepherd v. Apfel

184 F.3d 1196 (1999)

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Shepherd v. Apfel

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

184 F.3d 1196 (1999)

Facts

Dwayne Shepherd (plaintiff) was granted disability insurance benefits because of injuries he sustained from a motorcycle accident. The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Kenneth Apfel (defendant), approved benefits for the closed period from December 8, 1991, through December 31, 1992. Shepherd was denied a request for reconsideration of the closed period and requested a hearing before an administrative-law judge (ALJ) for a determination of disability beyond December 31, 1992. The ALJ affirmed the commissioner’s decision, implicitly finding that there had been medical improvement in Shepherd’s condition and that he was not disabled after December 31, 1992. The only evidence on record that showed medical improvement in Shepherd’s condition was a July 7, 1993, consultative examination that showed Shepherd had regained full range of motion in most extremities and he had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform sedentary work. The appeals council declined to review the ALJ’s decision. Shepherd filed a complaint in federal district court, and the district court also affirmed the commissioner’s decision but concluded there was no requirement for a medical-improvement test because benefits were granted for a closed period. Shepherd appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lucero, J.)

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