Reese v. Social Security Administration
ORDER remanding this case to the Commissioner to reconcile the inconsistency. The Commissioner may also choose to further develop the record as to Mr. Reese's headaches while the case is on remand. This case is remanded under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), for further administrative action. Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 4/15/2015. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
JOHNNIE R. REESE
CASE NO.: 3:14CV000121 BD
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner,
Social Security Administration
Oral argument hearing was held on April 2, 2015. Following a review of the
record and arguments presented by counsel, the Court announced its findings of fact and
conclusions of law, remanding the Commissioner’s decision. Because of an
irreconcilable inconsistency between the residual functional capacity determined by the
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and the reasoning level required for the two jobs
identified by the vocational expert, this case is remanded to the Commission for
clarification and, if appropriate, other purposes.
More detailed findings and conclusions appear in the hearing transcript (docket
entry #21), but the reason for remand is summarized as follows:
The ALJ limited Mr. Reese to a reduced range of light work. The claimant was
restricted from work: requiring climbing ladders or scaffolds; exposing him to excessive
noise; or requiring more than occasional overhead work with his left upper extremity. In
addition, the ALJ limited Mr. Reese to jobs where interpersonal contact is incidental and
to work where the complexity of one-to-two step tasks is learned and performed by rote,
with few variables, little judgment, and where supervision required is simple, direct, and
At the hearing before the ALJ, a vocational expert identified two jobs that Mr.
Reese could perform: office helper and assembler, small products II. According to the
Dictionary of Occupational Titles1 (DOT), both of these jobs require level 2 reasoning.
Level 2 reasoning requires the ability to “[apply] commonsense understanding to carry
out detailed but uninvolved written or oral instructions.” DOT App. C (emphasis added).
Level 1 reasoning, on the other hand, is limited to the ability to “[a]pply
commonsense understanding to carry out simple one-or two-step instructions.” DOT
App. C (emphasis added).
This case is remanded so that the Commissioner can reconcile the inconsistency.
The Commissioner may also choose to further develop the record as to Mr. Reese’s
headaches while the case is on remand. This case is remanded under sentence four of 42
U.S.C. § 405(g), for further administrative action.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 15th day of April, 2015.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles is a guide from the United States
Department of Labor regarding job ability levels that has been approved for use in Social
Security cases. Fines v. Apfel, 149 F.3d 893, 895 (8th Cir.1998) (citing 20 C.F.R. §
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