United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Public Health — disability benefits
Even if it was error for the ALJ to deny disability benefits because the claimant did not have frequent hospital visits, the claimant waived the argument.
“The Commissioner counters that ‘because many claimants are hospitalized and/or receive emergency room treatment, it is logical and appropriate to consider the number and frequency of the claimant’s hospitalizations and emergency room visits.’ And, the Commissioner insists, the ALJ’s reasoning rests ‘on the commonsense idea that a person who is disabled by pain might seek medical treatment for that pain beyond that provided by ordinarily scheduled visits with his doctors.’ But we do not understand the Commissioner’s point; a person suffering continuous pain might seek unscheduled treatment if that pain unpredictably spikes to a level which is intolerable, but otherwise why would an emergency-room visit be sensible? Unless emergency treatment can be expected to result in relief, unscheduled treatment in fact makes no sense.”
“[H]ad Schomas developed these contentions in the district court, there might be something to this appeal. As it stands, though, we uphold the denial of benefits.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, McDade, J., Per Curiam.