Hedges v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Erin L. Setser on February 10, 2014. (src)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
LEWIS A. HEDGES, JR.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,1 Commissioner
Social Security Administration
Plaintiff, Lewis Hedges, Jr., 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 November 7, 2013, asserting that the findings of the
Commissioner were supported by substantial evidence and were conclusive. (Doc. 10). Plaintiff
filed an appeal brief on December 9, 2013. (Doc. 12).
On January 15, 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. (Doc. 17). The Defendant seeks remand so that
the ALJ may further evaluate Plaintiff’s past work and if necessary obtain evidence from a
vocational expert; explain the weight given to the opinions of the “other sources;” and to reevaluate whether Plaintiff’s earnings during the relevant time period qualify as substantial
Carolyn W. Colvin, has been appointed to serve as acting Commissioner of Social Security, and is substituted as
Defendant, pursuant to Rule 25(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
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 10th day of February, 2014.
/s/ Erin L. Setser
HON. ERIN L. SETSER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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