United States District Court, D. Maine
MITCHELL A. WEEMAN, Plaintiff,
LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, Defendant.
ORDER ON MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT ON THE RECORD
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
insured under a long-term disability insurance policy brings
this claim against his employer’s disability insurer,
arguing that the insurer unlawfully denied him benefits to
which he was entitled under the policy. Both parties move for
judgment on the administrative record. After reviewing the
record and applying the arbitrary and capricious standard to
the insurer’s denial of disability benefits, the Court
concludes that the insurer had a reasonable basis and
sufficient evidence to support its denial of the
insured’s claim. The Court therefore grants the
insurer’s motion for judgment on the administrative
record and denies the insured’s motion.
12, 2018, Mitchell A. Weeman filed a complaint against Life
Insurance Company of North America (LINA) alleging that
LINA-a provider of long-term disability insurance governed by
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) through
Mr. Weeman’s employer, Brookfield Power U.S. Holding
America Company (Brookfield)-acted arbitrarily and
capriciously in denying Mr. Weeman’s claim for such
benefits. Compl. ¶¶ 5, 26-27 (ECF No. 1).
LINA answered Mr. Weeman’s Complaint on September 11,
2018. Answer (ECF No. 5). On October 10, 2018, LINA
filed the Administrative Record for this case with the Court.
Letter to United States District Ct. (ECF No. 8).
November 28, 2018, both Mr. Weeman and LINA moved separately
for judgment on the administrative record. Mot. for J. on
the Administrative R. (ECF No. 9) (Pl.’s
Mot.); Def.’s Mot. for J. on the
Administrative R. (ECF No. 10) (Def.’s
Mot.). Both parties filed statements of facts appended
to their motions. Pl.’s Mot., Attach. 1,
Pl.’s App. to Mot. for J. on the Administrative
R. (ECF No. 9) (Pl.’s App. of Facts);
Def.’s Mot., Attach. 1, Def.’s App.
of Facts (ECF No. 10) (Def.’s App. of
Facts). On December 12, 2018, Mr. Weeman responded to
LINA’s motion. Pl.’s Objs. to Def.’s
Mot. for J. on the Administrative R. (ECF No. 11)
(Pl.’s Objs.). On December 19, 2018, LINA
responded separately to both Mr. Weeman’s motion and
statement of facts. Def.’s Mem. in Opp’n to
Pl.’s Mot. for J. on the Administrative R. (ECF
No. 12) (Def.’s Opp’n); Def.’s
Reply to Pl.’s App. of Facts (ECF No. 13). On
December 27, 2018, Mr. Weeman replied to LINA’s
response to his motion. Resp. to Def.’s Objs. to
Pl.’s Mot. for J. on the Administrative R. (ECF
No. 14) (Pl.’s Reply). On January 4, 2019,
LINA filed a motion to strike Mr. Weeman’s reply.
Def.’s Mot. to Strike Pl.’s Reply Mem.
(ECF No. 15) (Def.’s Mot. to
Statement of Facts
employed Mr. Weeman as a senior production technician.
Administrative R. at 1339. The overview of job
responsibilities for this position states that “[t]he
worker is responsible to operate the main and auxiliary
generating equipment and machinery and other plant-related
equipment; to perform predictive, preventive and reactive
mechanical and electrical (limited to 600V) maintenance to
the equipment and machinery; and to perform civil and
structural maintenance and construction activities.”
Id. at 1337. This position, according to
LINA’s occupational analysis, required medium strength,
id. at 1304, including “exerting 20 to 50
pounds of force occasionally, or 10 to 25 pounds of force
frequently to move objects, ” as well as
“significant walking or standing.”
Def.’s App. of Facts ¶ 21, n.1. Mr.
Weeman worked his last day for Brookfield on February 28,
2015. Administrative R. at 3. He began receiving
long-term disability benefits on August 29, 2015.
Id. at 534-35.
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Connecticut General Corporation,
itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cigna Corporation.
Def.’s Corporate Disclosure Statement (ECF No.
6). LINA is the “named fiduciary” of Brookfield
for “deciding claims for benefits” and
“deciding any appeals of denied claims” under
Brookfield’s “employee welfare benefit plan
subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974 (“ERISA”).” Administrative R.
The Long-Term Disability Plan
Weeman was eligible to participate in the group policy of
disability insurance issued by LINA to Brookfield under
policy number FLK-960752 (Group Policy). Def.’s
Reply to Pl.’s App. of Facts ¶ 3;
Administrative R. at 1391-1415 (Group
Policy). “All active, Full-time Maine Operating
Services Employees of [Brookfield] regularly working a
minimum of 30 hours per week and subject to a collective
bargaining agreement” are eligible to receive benefits
under the Group Policy. Administrative R. at 1393;
see also Id . at 1410. “Full-time means the
number of hours set by the Employer as a regular work day for
Employees in the Employee’s eligibility class.”
Id. at 1411.
“will pay Disability Benefits if an Employee becomes
Disabled while covered under [the Group Policy]. The Employee
must satisfy the Elimination Period, be under the Appropriate
Care of a Physician, and meet all the other terms and
conditions of the Policy.” Id. at 1400.
“The Elimination Period is the period of time an
Employee must be continuously Disabled before Disability
Benefits are payable.” Id. An employee is
considered disabled under the Group Policy, and thus
qualified to receive benefits, if, “solely because of
Injury or Sickness, he or she is: 1. unable to perform the
material duties of his or her Regular Occupation; or 2.
unable to earn 80% or more of his or her Indexed Earnings
from working in his or her Regular Occupation.”
Id. at 1394. “Regular Occupation” is
defined as “[t]he occupation the Employee routinely
performs at the time the Disability begins.”
Id. at 1412. “Indexed Earnings” are
defined as follows:
For the first 12 months Monthly Benefits are payable, Indexed
Earnings will be equal to Covered Earnings. After 12 Monthly
Benefits are payable, Indexed Earnings will be an
Employee’s Covered Earnings plus an increase applied on
each anniversary of the date Monthly Benefits became payable.
The amount of each increase will be the lesser of: 1. 10% of
the Employee’s Indexed Earnings during the preceding
year of Disability; or 2. the rate of increase in the
Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) during the preceding calendar
Id. at 1411. “Covered Earnings” are
defined as “an Employee’s wage or salary as
reported by the Employer for work performed for the Employer
as in effect just prior to the date Disability begins.
Covered Earnings are determined initially on the date an
Employee applies for coverage.” Id. at 1394.
“After Disability Benefits have been payable for 24
months, ” the employee is considered disabled if:
solely due to Injury or Sickness, he or she is: 1. unable to
perform the material duties of any occupation for which he or
she is, or may reasonably become, qualified based on
education, training or experience; or 2. unable to earn 60%
or more of his or her Indexed Earnings.
Id. When claiming disability benefits, the claimant
is required to “provide [LINA], at his or her own
expense, satisfactory proof of Disability before benefits
will be paid.” Id. at 1400.
Mitchell A. Weeman’s Short-Term Disability
Weeman’s relevant medical history begins with a total
hip replacement he received on September 19, 2013, due to his
end-stage arthritis. Id. at 1442-45. Following this
procedure, Mr. Weeman filed a claim for short term disability
benefits which was approved on November 7, 2013. Id.
at 623-24. The letter Mr. Weeman received from LINA approving
his claim stated that benefits would be paid through December
11, 2013. Id. On September 26, 2014, Mr. Weeman
received a left kidney nephrectomy to treat his renal cell
carcinoma. Id. at 1423-25. On October 31, 2014, Mr.
Weeman’s short term disability benefits were approved
through October 30, 2014. Id. at 609. On November
12, LINA sent a letter to Mr. Weeman notifying him that,
because LINA had been informed he was “released to
return to work as of October 23, 2014, therefore benefits
[were] payable through October 22, 2014.” Id.
Weeman stopped working on February 27, 2015, id. at
252, 589, in preparation for a March 2, 2015, biventricular
ICD implantation to be performed by Dr. Charles M. Carpenter
at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. Id.
at 1328-30. An ICD is an “implantable cardioverter
defibrillator.” Id. at 1327. On March 10,
2015, Mr. Weeman visited Maine Medical Partners in
Scarborough, Maine for a “routine wound check.”
Id. at 1351. Nurse Practitioner Anna Stasiv wrote in
her notes that Mr Weeman had “tolerated the [March 2]
procedure well without any complications” and that Mr.
Weeman “state[d] that he is doing well.”
Id. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Weeman again applied for
short term disability benefits and on March 27, 2015, LINA
approved his application for short term disability benefits
though March 22, 2015. Id. at 586-87. In its letter
approving Mr. Weeman’s claim, LINA noted that Mr.
Weeman’s claim would remain open “through April
25, 2015 so that if [he was] not able to return to work by
March 23, 2015, [he would] have an opportunity to send [LINA]
the enclosed Medical Request Form completed for consideration
of further benefits.” Id. at 586. On April 6,
2015, Dr. Carpenter wrote a letter stating that he had
“explained to [Mr. Weeman] that he can no longer
continue to work with electrical equipment” after the
implantation of his ICD device, which was “for
progressive heart disease.” Id. at 1327. On
April 17, 2015, LINA sent Mr. Weeman a letter informing him
that his eligibility for short term disability benefits would
expire on July 26, 2015. Id. at 563-64. On April 30,
2015, Dr. Carpenter wrote a second letter stating that
“Mr. Weeman has end-stage heart and kidney disease,
” and that he had told Mr. Weeman “that, under no
circumstances, can he return to work as an electrician”
due to his implanted defibrillator. Id. at 1326. On
May 22, 2015, Mr. Weeman was seen by cardiologist Dr. Jeffrey
Rosenblatt, who stated in his notes that Mr. Weeman was
“doing well since his ICD BiV placement.”
Id. at 1323-25.
Mitchell A. Weeman’s Long-Term Disability
29, 2015, LINA created a long-term disability claim file for
Mr. Weeman. Id. at 3, 5. On July 3, 2015, the Social
Security Administration awarded Mr. Weeman Social Security
disability benefits, which he received from October 21, 2015,
until November 16, 2016. Id. at 1218, 1278. On July
9, 2015, LINA conducted an occupational analysis of Mr.
Weeman’s position as an auxiliary equipment operator
and concluded that the position required medium strength,
frequent climbing and reaching, and occasional stooping,
kneeling, crouching, and exposure to electrical shock.
Id. at 1303-04. LINA confirmed approval of Mr.
Weeman’s long-term disability claim by letter dated
August 12, 2015. Id. at 534-35. Benefits began on
August 29, 2015-after the 180-day elimination period
following Mr. Weeman’s March 2, 2015, date of
Rosenblatt saw Mr. Weeman again on November 19, 2015 and
wrote that “Mr. Weeman is doing well from a cardiac
standpoint. He is settling in to not working but does say he
should probably find something else to do to keep him busy
besides working on the ‘honey-do list.’ He denies
chest pain, palpitations, or shortness of breath.”
Id. at 1295. Dr. Rosenblatt also wrote that Mr.
Weeman “fe[lt] well, no change in exercise tolerance,
weight gain of approximately 15 lbs.” Id.
April 1, 2016, Dr. James Wasserman, a nephrologist, saw Mr.
Weeman for “Followup for Stage III Chronic Kidney
Disease.” Id. at 1112. Dr. Wasserman wrote:
[Mr. Weeman] continues to have difficulty with loss of work.
He is now very sedentary and not pursuing any particular
activities. He is not walking, pursuing hobbies, or spending
more time with friends. We talked about the importance of
this for mental and physical health as well as social
well-being. We put this in the context of his increased
weight and increased fluid intake.
Id. Mr. Weeman saw Courtney Anson, a
physician’s assistant at Maine Medical Partners
Urology, on April 27, 2016. Id. at 1078-80. The
appointment was for follow-up on Mr. Weeman’s renal
cancer, and Ms. Anson found no evidence of recurrence.
Id. at 1080.
Weeman returned to see Dr. Rosenblatt on May 6, 2016, and Dr.
Rosenblatt noted that he was “doing well without any
complaints of palpitations, shortness of breath, or chest
pain.” Id. at 906. “Th[e] conversation
focused around diet and exercise.” Id. Dr.
Wasserman next saw Mr. Weeman on September 8, 2016, for
further follow-up on his stage III chronic kidney disease.
Id. at 1110. He denied “[c]hest pain at
rest” and “[c]hest pain with exertion.”
Id. at 1111. With regard to Mr. Weeman’s
congestive heart failure, Dr. Wasserman found “[n]o
signs or symptoms of decompensation.” Id.
November 3, 2016, Mr. Weeman saw Ms. Anson because of a
“Renal Mass.”Id. at 1165. Ms. Anson wrote
that Mr. Weeman showed “[n]o evidence of
recurrence” of his renal cancer. Id. at 1167.
On November 4, 2016, Mr. Weeman again saw Dr. Rosenblatt, who
stated that “Mr. Weeman feels well. There are no
changes in his medical status. He remains on total disability
due to the presence of the defibrillator and his working
environment, which would contraindicate the use of an ICD in
that environment.” Id. at 903. Also, on
November 4, 2016, Dr. Rosenblatt completed a
“Disability Management Solutions Medical Request
Form” stating that Mr. Weeman “[h]as an ICD
Cannot work around Electrical current.” Id. at
1163. Dr. Rosenblatt also wrote that Mr. Weeman
“[c]annot work” and based on his experience would
never be able to return to work. Id.
December 6, 2016, Mr. Weeman completed a disability
questionnaire that he received from LINA “[a]s part of
[LINA’s] evaluation of [Mr. Weeman’s] claim and
ongoing eligibility for disability benefits.”
Id. at 1215-16, 1219. In response to the question,
“In your own words, tell us why you cannot work in your
own or in any occupation, ” Mr. Weeman wrote,
“Can not work in high magnetic fields; can no longer
work with electrical equipment.” Id. at 1216.
In response to the question, “What is primary physical
and/or mental condition preventing you from working now,
” Mr. Weeman wrote “End stage heart and kidney
disease. Also have an implanted defibrillator.”
Id. Mr. Weeman stated that he did one hour of yard
work three days a week, a half hour of gardening once a week,
an hour of reading seven days a week, and three hours of
watching television seven days a week. Id. He also
stated that he walked a half mile and used a computer every
day, including “Windows” and “email.”
Id. As part of this questionnaire, Mr. Weeman signed
a disclosure authorization form, authorizing his medical care
providers to give LINA records related to his care.
Id. at 1219.
January 12, 2017, Mr. Weeman again saw Dr. Wasserman, who
wrote that “[h]e continues to have difficulty with loss
of work. He remains very sedentary. He continues to mourn
previous lifestyle.” Id. at 1108. Dr.
Wasserman also noted that on that visit, Mr. Weeman was
“not interested in following up in integrative
nephrology clinic to discuss a more holistic approach to his
health issues.” Id. Dr. Wasserman further
wrote that the “[m]ost important factor and correctable
factor for [Mr. Weeman’s] current health is increased
activity, healthy diet, reduce caloric intake and weight
reduction.” Id. at 1109.
March 8, 2017, Ms. Anson completed a “Disability
Management Solutions Medical Request Form” stating that
from her perspective, Mr. Weeman’s renal cancer posed
no work restrictions. Id. at 1194. On April 26,
2017, Dr. Wasserman returned to LINA a blank
“Disability Management Solutions Medical Request
Form” with a note scrawled on the cover letter stating,
“Per Dr. Wasserman, Please ask PCP or Cardiology to
complete. Thanks.” Id. at 1197-98.
Denial of Continued Long-Term Disability Benefits
receiving twenty-four months of benefits payments as of
August 29, 2017, it became Mr. Weeman’s obligation to
provide evidence that he was “1. unable to perform the
material duties of any occupation for which he . . . is, or
may reasonably become, qualified based on education, training
or experience; or 2. unable to earn 60% or more of his . . .
Indexed Earnings.” Id. at 534, 1394.
10, 2017, Dr. Shadrach Jones completed an “Internal
Resource Response” in which he “reviewed all
available medical and/or vocational evidence, for which [he
had] been trained, bearing on Disability and/or functional
capacity and . . . considered its impact on the whole person
in order to provide an accurate representation of the medical
and/or vocational facts of the claim file.”
Id. at 110. Dr. Jones noted that “[t]he
evaluation by Dr. Rosenblatt on 11/4/16 documented that
customer [Mr. Weeman] presented for follow up reporting that
he felt well denying dyspnea and chest pain, ” and that
“[t]he examination by Courtney Anson, PA-C, on 11/3/16
documented that customer had a normal mental status, clear
lungs, normal heart sounds, and no abdominal masses.”
Id. Dr. Jones concluded that “[t]he treating
provider[’]s opinion [that Mr. Weeman could not work]
is not well supported by medically acceptable clinical or
laboratory diagnostic techniques and is inconsistent with the
other substantial evidence in the claim file” because
“[t]he customer[’]s cardiac disease would not
preclude normal, sedentary activities, ” “[t]here
is no current documentation of heart failure or syncope,
” and [t]here is no current documentation of symptoms
at rest.” Id. at 111. Dr. Jones wrote that
while Mr. Weeman’s “cardiomyopathy will limit
aerobic capacity” and “[t]he implantable
defibrillator must not be exposed to intense electromagnetic
fields, ” Mr. Weeman is able to “frequently sit,
reach at desk level, fine manipulate, simple grasp and firm
grasp[, ] occasionally stand, walk, and reach above the head
and below the waist and lift, carry, push and pull 10 lbs. on
an occasional basis and a negligible amount of weight on a
frequent basis.” Id.
Weeman saw Dr. Rosenblatt again on May 10, 2017. Id.
at 899. Dr. Rosenblatt noted that “Mr. Weeman is doing
relatively well. He does find he is short of breath when he
exerts himself, but admits he has not really been doing much
exercise outside.” Id.
11, 2017, Darci Bakos,  a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist,
completed a “Transferable Skills Analysis” (TSA)
of Mr. Weeman, based in part on the disability questionnaire
he filled out on December 6, 2016, and the medical review
conducted by Dr. Jones on May 10, 2017. Id. at
1160-61. Ms. Bakos listed Mr. Weeman’s skills and
abilities as follows: “knowing the function of system
specialty operated; directing work of others; coordination of
eyes, hands, and fingers to run or adjust system; reading
panel-board meter, dials, and gauges and using math skills to
interpret readings; and remaining calm during
emergencies.” Id. at 1160. Ms. Bakos also
noted that Mr. Weeman “uses a computer daily, with
knowledge of Windows and email.” Id. Based on
Mr. Weeman’s “skills, education attainment, work
history, age, and wage requirements/station in life”
and “based on [his] physical limitations and
restrictions as outlined by Dr. Jones, ” Ms. Bakos
stated her opinion that Mr. Weeman could work as a
“Relay Record Clerk.” Id. at 1161. Apart
from the title, there is no description of what this position
entails. While the TSA does state that such positions can be
“perform[ed] in the labor market of Bar Mills, ME,
” it gives no indication that such positions were,
indeed, available. Id.
on the TSA, LINA rejected Mr. Weeman’s claim of
continued disability by letter dated May 11, 2017.
Id. at 468-70. Disability Claim Manager David R.
wrote that Mr. Weeman was “not Disabled from any
occupation as defined by” the Group Policy.
Id. at 468, 470. David R. stated that Mr.
Weeman’s claim was reviewed by “[a] claim
manager, medical director, vocational rehabilitation
counselor, and senior claim manager, ” who looked at
“[t]he information in [Mr. Weeman’s] file,
including medical information from cardiologist Dr. Jeffrey
Rosenblatt, urologist Dr. Matthew Hahn,  and nephrologist
Dr. James Wasserman.” Id. In a section
entitled “How Was the Claim Decision Reached?, ”
David R. wrote:
Our review of your file shows that you have a history of
congestive heart failure and renal cancer. Treatment is
provided by Drs. Rosenblatt, Hahn, and Wasserman. We wrote to
your physicians and requested copies of your medical records
and completion of forms.
Dr. Rosenblatt provided us with copies of your records
through November 4, 2016, and completed a medical request
form, on which he opined that you will never be able to
return to work.
Dr. Hahn provided us with copies of your records through
November 3, 2016, and completed a medical request form, on
which he indicated that no work restrictions were given to
Dr. Wasserman advised that he defers to your cardiologist
with regard to your work capacity.
The information in your file was reviewed by our medical
director (MD), who is a licensed physician Board Certified in
internal medicine, and specializing in occupational and
environmental medicine. When examined by Dr. Rosenblatt on
November 4, 2016, you reported feeling well and denied
dyspnea and chest pain. Your blood pressure was 124/56, pulse
66, and respirations 14. A grade III/IV systolic murmur was
noted, but the rest of your examination was within normal
limits. Your examination on November 3, 2016 documented that
you had a normal mental status, clear lungs, normal heart
sounds, and no abdominal masses. The MD noted that there is
no documentation in your file of current heart failure,
syncope, or symptoms at rest.
The MD opined that your cardiac disease should not preclude
sedentary work. Your implanted defibrillator should not be
exposed to intense electromagnetic fields. The MD opined that
you may frequently sit, reach at desk-level, fine manipulate,
simple grasp and firm grasp occasionally; stand, walk, and
reach above head and below the waist and lift, carry, push
and pull ten pounds on an occasional basis and a negligible
amount of weight on a frequent basis. There are no documented
impairments of speech, hearing, vision, or cognition.
We had a certified vocational rehabilitation counselor
perform a transferable skills analysis to determine if
suitable occupations exist that you should be qualified and
able to preform based upon your education, experience, and
our MD’s assessment of your work capacity as described
above. We note that you completed high school and obtained an
electrical license. You previously worked as a senior
production technician, and report basic home computer use. A
suitable sedentary occupations [sic] was identified that you
should be qualified and able to perform: relay record clerk
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles defines sedentary work
as follows: “Exerting up to 10 pounds of force
occasionally (Occasionally: activity or condition exists up
to 1/3 of the time) and/or a negligible amount of force
frequently (Frequently: activity or condition exists from 1/3
to 2/3 of the time) to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise
move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work
involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or
standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if
walking and standing are required only occasionally and all
other sedentary criteria are met.”
We are aware that you have been awarded Social Security
Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits by the Social Security
Administration (SSA), and have considered that fact in our
claim review. We have confirmed that there is no new
information in your SSA file since the time of your initial
Social Security Award. As a result, we are in receipt of more
recent information than the SSA had to consider at the time
of its decision.
We have identified a suitable sedentary occupation that you
should be qualified and able to perform based upon your
education, experience, and our MD’s assessment of your
work capacity. Therefore, you are not Disabled from any
occupation and are not eligible for benefits beyond August
Id. at 469. The letter went on to explain Mr.
Weeman’s options for appealing LINA’s
determination. Id. at 469-70.
16, 2017, Dr. Rosenblatt returned a second “Disability
Management Solutions Medical Request Form, ” again
stating that Mr. Weeman was “[u]nable to work”
and could not return to work “in the near
future.” Id. at 1155. He did not provide
further explanation for this conclusion.
Michell A. Weeman’s First Appeal
7, 2017,  Mr. Weeman was seen by internist Dr. David
Kispert for “evaluation for disability
insurance.” Id. at 887. Dr. Kispert wrote that
Mr. Weeman would “need additional evaluation and
treatment prior to determining disability status”
related to “complaints of arthritis in multiple joints
. . ..” Id. at 888. On June 20, 2017, Mr.
Weeman was seen by nurse practitioner Chelsea Ginn,
worked with Dr. Johnson, for “discussion of long-term
disability.” Id. at 889, 891. Ms. Ginn’s
exam found “normal ROM [range of motion] with flexion
and extension” in his hands and “no evidence of
erythema, edema, or warmth of the joints . . ..”
Id. at 890. On July 5, 2017, Mr. Weeman was seen by
Dr. Ellis Johnson for an annual physical exam.
Id. at 676. While Dr. Johnson wrote that Mr. Weeman
was “[i]n general . . . feeling OK, ” he went on
to state that Mr. Weeman was “no longer able to work
due to his ICD and diffuse osteoarthritis.”
Id. Dr. Johnson also wrote that Mr. Weeman was
“not able to work at a computer due to his ongoing hand
arthritis and has trouble sitting at a desk due to his back
arthritis.” Id. at 679.
7, 2017, Mr. Weeman appealed LINA’s rejection of
continued disability benefits. Id. at 1151-52. Mr.
Weeman wrote that he felt he was “unable to complete
the required duties of a sedentary position, like”
relay record clerk, because he did not “have proper
keyboarding skills due to a combination of the osteoarthritis
of both hands, inability to straighten one of [his] fingers,
and improper technique, ” which he stated was a result
of not knowing touch typing and only typing with his two
index fingers, “which results in decreased productivity
of [his] computer skills.” Id. at 1151. Mr.
Weeman went on to say that, while he had reported basic home
computer use, his computer skills were “not up to the
standard of your basic entry level worker, ” as his
computer skills include only “minimum emailing, light
browsing of web pages, and minimal typing in a word
18, 2017, Dr. Krystian Bigosinski saw Mr. Weeman for a
“Sports Medicine Initial Office Visit.”
Id. at 680. Dr. Bigosinski wrote that Mr.
Weeman’s “bilateral hand pain . . . could be
coming from some osteoarthritic changes, ” stating that
“[b]ilateral hands revealed diffuse swelling throughout
all of the fingers and the right middle finger is especially
swollen and tender. He is not able to extend the middle
finger fully and . . . . [o]n both hands he cannot close his
hands entirely and make a fist due to swelling and
pain.” Id. at 680-81. A ...