Barlow v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Barry A. Bryant on March 6, 2012. (cap)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
Civil No. 4:11-cv-04117
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE,
Commissioner, Social Security Administration
On February 27, 2011, Defendant filed a Motion to Remand. ECF No. 7.1 Plaintiff
responded on March 5, 2012 and has no objections to this Motion. ECF No. 9. The parties have
consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case,
including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and conducting all postjudgment proceedings. ECF No. 5. Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this memorandum
opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.
Defendant requests a remand so the Commissioner may conduct further administrative
proceedings and further evaluate Plaintiff’s disability status. According to Defendant, on July 8,
2011, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff was not disabled because, using Rule 204.00 of the
Medical-Vocational Guidelines found in Appendix 2 as a framework, Plaintiff could perform work
existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 32-33). The ALJ mistakenly cited
Exhibit 2B as evidence of jobs Plaintiff could perform. (Tr. 33). However, Exhibit 2B does not list
any jobs or cite any vocational testimony. (Tr. 57-60).
The docket numbers for this case are referenced by the designation “ECF No.” The transcript pages for
this case are referenced by the designation “Tr.”
Additionally, according to Defendant, the ALJ’s decision contains conflicting statements
regarding Plaintiff’s credibility, and does not discuss the evidence of record with respect to the
credibility factors found in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1529 and 416.929. (Tr. 21-28).
The Commissioner wishes to remand this case for further administrative proceedings to give
further consideration to Plaintiff’s treating source opinion pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527, Social
Security Ruling (SSR) 96-2p, and SSR 96-5p, and provide appropriate rationale to explain the
weight given to that evidence; further evaluate Plaintiff’s subjective complaints and provide rationale
in accordance with 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1529 and 416.929; give further consideration to Plaintiff’s RFC
and provide appropriate rationale with specific references to evidence of record; and obtain evidence
from a Vocational Expert, based on hypothetical questions reflecting the limitations established by
the record, to clarify the effect of the assessed limitations on Plaintiff’s occupational base.
This Court finds this motion is well-taken and should be granted. The Commissioner’s
decision is reversed, and this matter is hereby remanded pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) for further proceedings. In addition, the undersigned finds the Plaintiff’s Complaint should
be and hereby is dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff may still, however, file a motion for
attorney’s fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412.
A judgment incorporating these findings will be entered pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 52 and 58.
ENTERED this 6th day of March, 2012.
/s/ Barry A. Bryant
HON. BARRY A. BRYANT
U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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