Breece v. Social Security Administration Commissioner

Filing 12

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Erin L. Setser on January 6, 2015. (tg)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS FAYETTEVILLE DIVISION DONNA G. BREECE v. PLAINTIFF NO. 14-5186 CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT MEMORANDUM OPINION Plaintiff, Donna G. Breece, 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 a period of disability and disability insurance benefits (DIB). (Doc. 1). The Defendant filed an Answer to Plaintiff's action on October 28, 2014, asserting that the findings of the Commissioner were supported by substantial evidence and were conclusive. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff filed an appeal brief on November 30, 2014. (Doc. 9). On December 18, 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. 10). The Defendant seeks remand so that the ALJ may further evaluate Plaintiff’s severe impairments, the opinion medical evidence, the residual functional capacity finding, Plaintiff’s subjective complaints, and whether Plaintiff’s substance abuse was a contributing factor material to the finding of disability. 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 AO72A (Rev. 8/82) 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 6th day of January, 2015. /s/ Erin L. Setser HON. ERIN L. SETSER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE -2- AO72A (Rev. 8/82)

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