Berry v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
FINAL JUDGMENT REVERSING THE DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER AND REMANDING THIS CASE TO THE COMMISSIONER FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION PURSUANT TO SENTENCE FOUR of 42 U.S.C. 405(g). Signed by Honorable Mark E. Ford on December 7, 2016. (rw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
FORT SMITH DIVISION
TRESA J. BERRY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:15-CV-2240-MEF
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner,
Social Security Administration
This cause is before the Court on the Plaintiff’s complaint for judicial review of an
unfavorable final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying
her claim for disability benefits. The parties have consented to entry of final judgment by the
United States Magistrate Judge under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). The Court, having
reviewed the administrative record, the briefs of the parties, the applicable law, and having heard
oral argument, finds as follows, to-wit:
Consistent with the Court’s ruling from the bench following the parties’ oral argument,
the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security is reversed and remanded for further
proceedings pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
The Court finds that the matter must be remanded for a proper credibility analysis of
Plaintiff’s subjective complaints and to allow the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to obtain a
more recent Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. The ALJ is directed to reconsider
Plaintiff’s credibility in light of all the evidence of record, the factors set forth in Polaski v.
Heckler, 739 F.2d 1320, 1322 (8th Cir. 1984), as well as the regulations; and, to obtain a current
mental status evaluation from Dr. Walz or Dr. Spray, complete with an RFC assessment.
Consideration should be given to how Plaintiff’s mental impairments affect her ability to work in
a competitive environment and around others. Upon such reconsideration, the ALJ should
formulate appropriate hypothetical questions to the Vocational Expert which set forth all of
Plaintiff’s mental and physical impairments. Accordingly, the Court finds the evidence
insufficient to determine the Plaintiff’s disability status during this period. See Johnson v. Astrue,
627 F.3d 316, 320 (8th Cir. 2010) (ALJ is required to order medical examinations and tests if the
medical records presented to him do not give sufficient medical evidence to determine whether
the claimant is disabled).
IT IS SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED on this the 7th day of December 2016.
HON. MARK E. FORD
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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