Dockery v. Commissioner of Social Security
JUDGMENT in favor of Mary Christine Dockery against Commissioner of Social Security. THE CASE IS REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS. CASE CLOSED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Jane M. Virden on 6/27/17. (ncb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
MARY CHRISTINE DOCKERY
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
This cause is before the court on Plaintiff’s complaint for judicial review of an
unfavorable final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
denying a claim for supplemental security income 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), with any appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The court,
having reviewed the administrative record, the briefs of the parties, and the applicable law,
and having heard oral argument, finds as follows:
Consistent with the court’s ruling from the bench during a hearing held today, the
court finds the ALJ’s residual functional capacity (“RFC”) assessment is not supported by
substantial evidence in the record because the ALJ failed to consider the claimant’s syncope
impairment. The ALJ must consider all medically-determinable impairments when making
his RFC finding. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(a)(2). In this case, the ALJ made no mention of
the claimant’s syncope impairment in the decision despite having had access to a 2011 final
decision on the claimant’s prior application which specifically identified her history of
syncope as a severe impairment. Furthermore, in 2009 a heart specialist’s assessment of the
claimant’s condition included “recurrent syncope,” albeit of unknown etiology.
On remand, the ALJ must consider the claimant’s syncope as a medicallydeterminable impairment. The ALJ is further directed to consider as evidence the prior
finding that the claimant’s history of syncope was a severe impairment and assign that
finding the appropriate weight. Then, the ALJ shall either re-contact the former physical
consultative examiner (Dr. Robert Shearin) and provide him with the claimant’s relevant
medical records (including, but not limited to, 2009 cardiology records identified as Exhibit
B1F to the ALJ’s decision) or order a new CE and provide that examiner with the said
records. In either case, the ALJ shall obtain an assessment from the examiner of the
claimant’s physical ability to engage in work-related activity (function-by-function). The
ALJ shall conduct a new hearing and obtain any necessary vocational evidence. Finally, the
ALJ may conduct any further proceedings deemed necessary, but which are not inconsistent
with this order.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that this case is
REVERSED and REMANDED for further proceedings.
This, the 27th day of June, 2017.
/s/ Jane M. Virden
U. S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?