Ruth v. Social Security Administration

Filing 17

ORDER re 2 Complaint filed by Johnnie L Ruth reversing and remanding to the Commissioner for reconsideration. This is a "sentence four" remand. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 9/26/11. (kpr)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS WESTERN DIVISION JOHNNIE L. RUTH v. PLAINTIFF No. 4:10-cv-292-DPM MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT ORDER The Court reverses and remands. The ALl's opinion is careful and thorough. But one error undermines the whole. The ALJ found that Ruth's anxiety disorder was a severe impairment; the hypothetical put to the vocational expert, however, omitted any reference to Ruth's anxiety or his trouble dealing with other people. A corrections officer or security guard must deal with others to some degree. Without a complete hypothetical, the vocational expert's opinion about Ruth's ability to do his former job notwithstanding all his impairments loses evidentiary power. Hinchey v. Shalala, 29 F.3d 428, 432 (8th Cir. 1994). And without that opinion in the balance, the substantialness of the evidence -1­ supporting the Commissioner's no-disability determination is in some doubt. Cunningham v. Apfel, 222 F.3d 496, 500 (8th Cir. 2000) (standard of review). The Court therefore reverses the administrative decision and remands for reconsideration; this is a "sentence four" remand within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and Melkonyan v. Sullivan, 501 U.S. 89 (1991). So ordered. D.P. Marshall Jr. United States District Judge 9/26/2011 -2­

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