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Barnhart v. Thomas

Docket No.: 02-763
Certiorari Granted: Feb 24 2003
Argued: October 14, 2003
Decided: November 12, 2003

Topics:

Social Security, as amended, including Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act, but excluding Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Civil Rights, Article I, ERISA, Natural Resources, Sherman Act, Social Security Act, Supplemental Security Income, antitrust, sovereign immunity, statutory standing

PartyNames: Jo Anne B. Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security v. Pauline Thomas
Petitioner: Jo Anne B. Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security
Respondent: Pauline Thomas

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Citation: CA 3, 294 F.3d 568. QUESTION PRESENTED Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act define disability as the "inability toengage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or whichhas lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." 42 U.S.C. 423(d)(1)(A); 42 U.S.C. 1382c(a)(3)(A). The Act further provides that a claimant "shall be determi ned to be under a disability only if his physical or mental impairment or impairme nts are of such severity that he is notonly unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and
Supreme Court Docket

Jo Anne B. Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security
v.
Pauline Thomas
540 U.S. 20 (2003)
Question Presented:

Whether the Commissioner of Social Securi ty may determine that a claimant is not "disabled" within the meaning of the Act because the claimant remains physicallyand mentally able to do her previous work, without considering whether that particular job exists in significant numbers in the national economy. CERT. GRANTED: 2/24/03

Question:

Are persons eligible for Social Security disability benefits if they are still able to perform their jobs, but the jobs no longer exists in meaningful numbers in the national economy?

Note:

. CA 3, 294 F.3d 568. QUESTION PRESENTED Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act define disability as the "inability toengage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or whichhas lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." 42 U.S.C. 423(d)(1)(A); 42 U.S.C. 1382c(a)(3)(A). The Act furtherprovides that a claimant "shall be determi ned to be under a disability only if his physical or mental impairment or impairme nts are of such severity that he is notonly unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which existsin the national economy." 42 U.S.C. 423(d)(2)(A); 42 U.S.C. 1382c(a)(3)(B). Under the Act, "work which exists in the national economy" means "work which exists insignificant numbers either in the region where such individual lives or in several regions in the country ." 42 U.S.C. 4 23(d)(2)(A); 42 U.S.C. 1382c(a)(3)(B). Thequestion presented is: Whether the Commissioner of Social Securi ty may determine that a claimant is not"disabled" within the meaning of the Act because the claimant remains physically and mentally able to do her previous work, without considering whether thatparticular job exists in significant numbers in the national economy. CERT. GRANTED: 2/24/03

Barnhart v. Thomas
ORAL ARGUMENT

October 14, 2003

Holding: reversed
Decision: Decision: 9 votes for Barnhart, 0 vote(s) against
Vote: 9-0
Opinion By: Justice Antonin Scalia
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