Bullington v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable James R. Marschewski on July 16, 2014. (lw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
FORT SMITH DIVISION
CIVIL NO. 13-2127
CAROLYN W. COLVIN1, Commissioner
Social Security Administration
LaJeana Bullington (“Plaintiff”) brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) seeking
judicial review of a decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner) denying her application for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and supplemental
security income (“SSI”). ECF No. 1. The Defendant filed an answer to Plaintiff’s action on August
12, 2013, asserting that the findings of the Commissioner were supported by substantial evidence
and were conclusive. ECF No. 11.
On July 11, 2014, the Commissioner, having changed positions, filed a motion requesting
that Plaintiff’s case be remanded pursuant to “sentence four” of section 405(g) in order to conduct
further administrative proceedings. ECF Nos. 19. Specifically, the Commissioner requests that
remand be granted to allow the ALJ to incorporate the 2003 and 2005 MRI reports in the certified
electronic record, obtain any additional evidence, reassess Plaintiff’s RFC, and obtain supplemental
vocational evidence to determine whether other jobs exist in the national economy that will
accommodate Plaintiff’s limitations.
Carolyn W. Colvin became the Social Security Commissioner on February 14, 2013. Pursuant to Rule
25(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Carolyn W. Colvin has been substituted for Commissioner Michael
J. Astrue as the defendant in this suit.
The exclusive methods by which a district court may remand a social security case to the
Commissioner are set forth in “sentence four” and “sentence six” of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). A remand
pursuant to “sentence six” is limited to two situations: where the Commissioner requests a remand
before answering the complaint, or where the court orders the Commissioner to consider new,
material evidence that was for good cause not presented before the agency. The Fourth sentence of
the statute provides that “[t]he court shall have power to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of
the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing.” 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Shalala v.
Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292, 296, 113 S.Ct. 2625 (1993).
Here, we find remand for the purpose of the ALJ to further evaluate the evidence as
addressed above, appropriate. Therefore, we recommend that the Commissioner’s motion to remand
be GRANTED and the case remanded to the Commissioner for further administrative action
pursuant to “sentence four” of section 405(g).
DATED this 16th day of July 2014.
/s/ J. Marschewski
HON. JAMES R. MARSCHEWSKI
CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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