Fetterman’s Doctor’s Opinion In Disability Case Was Unreliable, Judges Found

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, stands on the tarmac after greeting President Joe Biden, front left, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at the 171st Air Refueling Wing at Pittsburgh International Airport in Coraopolis, Pa. Biden is visiting Pittsburgh to promote his infrastructure agenda. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

At a glance

  • A federal judge found in 2008 that a medical opinion of a Pennsylvania doctor who says U.S. Senate hopeful John Fetterman is able to work despite a recent stroke was unreliable in an applicant’s appeal case over Social Security benefits.
  • In Crouch v. Astrue, argued in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania before Judge Donetta W. Ambrose, an opinion provided by Dr. Clifford Chen was scrutinized in a case where an applicant for Social Security disability benefits, Betsy Crouch, was denied those benefits, and then appealed to the Commonwealth’s then-Commissioner of Social Security, Michael J. Astrue.
  • Crouch sought benefits for spinal disorder and depression and hoped the opinion of Chen would help her case, but his findings were rejected in administrative proceedings. A judge had ruled Chen’s opinion that she receive benefits was inconsistent with his own notes.

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