Ruth v. Social Security Administration
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)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
JOHNNIE L. RUTH
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner,
Social Security Administration
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
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).
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
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