Coffman v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Erin L. Setser on August 8, 2012. (lw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
MATTHEW T. COFFMAN
CIVIL NO. 11-3116
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner
Social Security Administration
Plaintiff, Matthew T. Coffman, 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 his applications for a period of disability and disability insurance
benefits (DIB) and supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. (Doc. 1). The Defendant filed
an answer to Plaintiff's action on April 20, 2012, asserting that the findings of the Commissioner
were supported by substantial evidence and were conclusive. (Doc. 7). Plaintiff filed an appeal
brief on May 23, 2012. (Doc. 8).
On July 9, 2012, 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. (Doc. 12). The Defendant states that upon remand, the ALJ
will schedule and conduct another hearing, and will obtain vocational expert testimony to clarify
the impact of Plaintiff’s limitations on his occupational base. The ALJ will also identify and
resolve any conflicts between the occupational evidence provided by the vocational expert and
the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
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, the Court finds remand for the purpose of the ALJ to further evaluate the evidence
as addressed above appropriate.
Based on the foregoing, the Court finds remand appropriate and grants the
Commissioner's motion to remand this case to the Commissioner for further administrative
action pursuant to "sentence four" of section 405(g).
DATED this 8th day of August, 2012.
/s/ Erin L. Setser
HON. ERIN L. SETSER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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