Jenkins v. Astrue
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action is REVERSED AND REMANDED to the ALJ to again give further consideration to Jenkins maximum RFC and provide appropriate rationale with specific references to the record in support of the a ssessed limitations and to evaluate the treating source opinions and nonexamining source opinions and explain the weight given to such opinion evidence, even if such opinions were provided after the date last insured. A separate written judgment will be entered on this date in favor of Jenkins and reversing and remanding this case for further proceedings pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. §405(g). Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 3/26/14. (JWD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
RUSCHEL S. JENKINS,
ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
Case No. 2:12-CV-91-JAR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This is an action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial review of the Commissioner of
Social Security’s final decision denying Ruschel S. Jenkins’ (“Jenkins”) application for disability
insurance benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 423 under the Social Security Act.
On February 6, 2008, Jenkins protectively filed an application for disability insurance
under Title II of the Act, 42 U.S.C. §§401, et seq. (Tr. 189). She was born in 1974 and alleged
disability beginning September 1, 2006. (Id.) Jenkins alleges in her disability report that she
suffers from lupus and an anxiety panic disorder. (Tr. 229-37.) She also states that she is unable
to work because she is allergic to the sun and because her anxiety and panic disorder causes her
to have breakdowns. The Social Security Administration denied Jenkins’ application for benefits
initially, and she filed a timely request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
Carolyn W. Colvin became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security on February 14, 2013. Pursuant to Rule
25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Carolyn W. Colvin is substituted for Michael J. Astrue as the
defendant in this suit. No further action need be taken to continue this suit by reason of the last sentence of 42
U.S.C. § 405(g).
(“ALJ”). On March 12, 2010, following a hearing, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision. (Tr.
75.) On May 12, 2010, Jenkins filed an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
benefits. (Tr. 204.)
The Appeals Council granted Jenkins’ request for a review under 20 CFR §404.977 and
vacated the hearing decision. (Tr. 91-94.) In the July 29, 2010 Remand Order, the Appeals
Council directed the ALJ to further evaluate Jenkins’ subjective complaints and medical
evidence regarding the possible impairments of headaches; further evaluate Jenkins’ mental
health impairments; further consider Jenkins’ maximum Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”)
with references to the record and evaluate treating source opinions and nonexamining source
opinions; further evaluate Jenkins’ ability to perform her past work, and make findings regarding
the physical and mental demands of her past work and compare her RFC with the demands of
her past work; and, if warranted, obtain evidence from a vocational expert. (Id.)
On October 13, 2011, following a video hearing, the ALJ found that Jenkins was not
under a disability, as defined under the Act, from September 1, 2006 through March 31, 2007.
The Appeals Council denied Jenkins’ request for review. (Tr. 1-3.) The decision of the
ALJ thus stands as the final decision of the Commissioner. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 107
(2000). Jenkins filed this appeal on December 19, 2012. (ECF No. 1). The Commissioner filed
an Answer. (ECF No. 9.) Jenkins filed a Brief in Support of her Complaint. (ECF No. 19.) The
Commissioner filed a Brief in Support of the Answer. (ECF No. 24).
The ALJ says that the alleged period of disability is from August 1, 2006 through March 31, 2007 (Tr. 8), but
Jenkins states in her disability report that her disability began on September 1, 2006 (Tr. 230.)
Decision of the ALJ
The ALJ determined that Jenkins last met the insured status under the Social Security Act
on March 31, 2007. (Tr. 11.) The ALJ determined that Jenkins did not engage in substantial
gainful activity during the period from her alleged onset date of August 1, 2006 through her date
last insured of March 31, 2007 (“date last insured”). (Id.)
Jenkins’ date last insured is important because her insured status under Title II of the Act
expired on March 31, 2007. (Tr. 8, 197, 219, 226.) To be entitled to disability benefits under
Title II of the Act, Jenkins has the burden to show that she was disabled prior to March 31, 2007,
the date last insured. (Id.); see also 20 C.F.R. §404.130; Moore v. Astrue, 572 F.3d 520, 522
(8th Cir. 2009); Cox v. Barnhart, 471 F.3d 902, 907 (8th Cir.2006). Jenkins’ earning record
shows that she acquired sufficient quarters of coverage to remain insured through March 31,
2007, so Jenkins has to establish disability on or before that date to be entitled to disability
insurance benefits. (Tr. 9.) Thus, the relevant period for consideration in this case is only from
September 1, 2006 (the date Jenkins alleges she became disabled) through March 31, 2007 (the
date her insured status expired under Title II).
The ALJ found that, from her alleged onset through her date last insured, March 31,
2007, Jenkins had the following “severe” physical and mental impairments: discoid lupus; wrist
pain with mild hand tremors; anxiety disorder; and panic disorder with agoraphobia. (Id.) The
ALJ also determined that she had the non-severe impairments of “mild” gastritis, history of
headaches and early carpal tunnel syndrome. (Tr. 13.)
Considering all of the evidence, the ALJ found that Jenkins did not have any impairments
or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled one of the listed impairments in 20
C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1, through the date last insured of March 31, 2007. (Tr.
The ALJ found, through the last date insured of March 31, 2007, Jenkins had the RFC to
perform less than a full range of “light work,” as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b), which he
[M]ust work indoors; must avoid exposure to sunlight; must avoid exposure to
temperature extremes of 80 degrees or more and 65 degrees or less; frequently,
but not constantly, user her bilateral upper extremities for handling and fingering;
understand, remember, and carry out simple instructions; make only simple work
related decisions; deal with only occasional changes in work processes and
environment; have no contact with the general public; and have only incidental,
superficial work-related contact with co-workers and supervisors.
(Tr. 15.) The ALJ also determined that Jenkins was unable to perform any past relevant work as
a tax preparer, teacher’s aide or cabinet stainer. (Tr. 18.)
Finally, the ALJ discerned that, through the date last insured, jobs existed in significant
number in the national economy that Jenkins could have performed, given her RFC. (Tr. 19.)
Jenkins could have performed jobs such as routing clerk, inspector and hand packager, and
suture polisher. (Id.) The ALJ ultimately concluded that Jenkins was not under a disability, as
defined in the SSA, at any time from September 1, 2006, the alleged onset date, through March
31, 2007. (Tr. 20.)
Jenkins appeals contending that the ALJ erred and that her case should be remanded to
the Commissioner with instructions that a third hearing be held, that the ALJ consider all of
Jenkins’ medical records, and that the ALJ consider evidence from Jenkins’ family and friends in
regard to her condition before her date last insured. (ECF No. 19 at 36-37.). The Commissioner
contends that the ALJ’s decision is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole.
(ECF No. 24.)
Jenkins’ Testimony on January 13, 2010
Jenkins testified as follows. Jenkins was 35 years old. (Tr. 34.) Jenkins completed 9th
grade in school. (Tr. 34.) She has been unable to work since September 1, 2006 because of her
anxiety disorder. (Id.) Jenkins says she has a “nervous breakdown pretty much” every time she
tries to hold down a job. (Id.)
She shakes, cannot concentrate, and her head races. (Tr. 34-35.)
By the afternoon, she is wiped out and has to take a nap for 30 minutes to an hour and a half.
(Tr. 35.) Dr. Fitzgerald is treating Jenkins for anxiety. (Id.) She was prescribed various
medications to treat her anxiety. (Id.) Paxil made her grow ulcers. (Id.) If someone notices her,
then her anxiety is triggered. (Id.) Her anxiety causes crying spells. (Tr. 36.) Then, by 3:00 or
5:00, she comes down with a severe headache. (Id.) She says she’s a very happy person for the
most part, but her anxiety has gotten worse with the death of her father and as she gets older.
(Id.) She does not answer the phone or have many visitors. (Tr. 37.) She left her job at Security
Finance because of her anxiety. (Id.)
She quit school in 9th grade because of her anxiety,
because she did not have a father, and because her mom was going through menopause. (Tr. 38.)
She has to put up dark curtains in her house and tint her windows because of her lupus. (Tr. 39.)
She gets lesions or bad rashes on her face and chest; they are worse in the winter or if she is
stressed. (Id.) She takes Plaquenil, which shuts down her immune system, for her lupus. (Id.)
She has to have blood tests every three months. (Id.) She gets joint pain and “flare ups” in her
hands, knees and hips, as well as pain in her back and neck. (Tr. 40.) She has had headaches her
whole life. (Id.)
She cannot write long letters or her hands tighten up. (Tr. 41.) If she is in the middle of
an anxiety attack, she cannot write anything. (Id.) She is sick to her stomach all of the time with
Jenkins’ Testimony on July 20, 2011
Jenkins lives with her husband and three children who are 17, 12, and 8. (Tr. 48.) She
has no vocational training. (Tr. 49.) She has had no job since 1996 where she has earned at least
$600 or $700 in one month. (Id.) In 2006 she was watching a four and a six year old for $20 per
week. (Tr. 50.) She has had no other employment. (Id.)
Jenkins began seeing Dr. Murphy in 2004 for problems in her wrists, including shooting
pains and tingling in her fingers. (Tr. 51.) In 2006-07, Jenkins also complained to Dr. Murphy
of a long history of migraine headaches. (Tr. 52.) Jenkins took (and continues to take) Tylenol
for these headaches; she cannot take anything stronger due to her lupus. (Id.) Jenkins had
headaches every day that required trips to the ER or caused her to lie down in a dark room. (Tr.
Jenkins saw Dr. Despain in October 2005 for a big sore on her face caused by lupus. (Tr.
53.) In 2006-07, Jenkins was getting rashes all the time on her face and chest which were painful
because of the swelling and itching. (Tr. 53-54.) Jenkins also reported having shaking spells
twice a day to Dr. Despain. (Tr. 54.) Dr. Despain gave her Klonopin. (Id.) When Jenkins saw
Dr. Murphy in January 2007, she was also having shaking spells that would wipe her out. (Id.)
Since Jenkins started taking Klonopin, she stopped getting the panic attacks but her
nervous system has shut down. (Tr. 55.) She was crying two to three times per week and her
OCD got worse. (Id.)
Dr. Newton, a psychologist, diagnosed Jenkins with panic anxiety disorder. (Tr. 55.) In
response to the ALJ’s question if she experienced caffeine-induced anxiety, she stated that it has
been a couple of years since she had a lot of caffeine on a daily basis. (Tr. 56.) Jenkins’ anxiety
has continued to be bad, even though she gave up caffeine. (Id.)
She stopped going to the grocery store because she would end up in the car crying. (Tr.
56.) She can no longer go to baseball games for her kids or ride horses. (Id.)
She had a “suicidal gesture” in 1992. (Tr. 56.) Her parents are divorced so she never felt
like she fit in. (Id.) She would never commit suicide because she has God. (Id.)
Jenkins was sexually abused as a young child at school and at home. (Tr. 57-58.) This
memory just came back about five years ago. (Id.) Jenkins thinks about the abuse constantly.
Jenkins obsessively washes her hands. (Tr. 58-59.) She has noticed her problem with
this only in the last few years. (Tr. 59.)
One of her pupils is bigger than the other, but she currently has no problems with her
eyesight. (Tr. 59.) She has migraines two to three times per week. (Id.) She sees Dr. Kahn in
Moberly for her headaches. (Tr. 60.)
Jenkins said the lupus is “shutting [her] immune system down.” (Tr. 60.) She catches
childhood diseases and infections. (Id.) She has a fungus infection in her esophagus. (Id.) She
has unknown sores in her esophagus that the doctors think is damage from Plaquenil, a lupus
Jenkins’ normal weight is 125 pounds but she currently weighs 111 pounds because she
has been throwing up due to illness. (Tr. 60-61.)
Jenkins left school after the 9th grade because she had gone to a new school and hated it
because no one liked her and she could not keep her grades up. (Tr. 61.) Jenkins tried Douglas,
an alternative school, to get her GED, but she had trouble actually walking into the door of the
classroom. (Tr. 61-62.)
From September 2006 through March 2007, Jenkins was cooking, doing dishes, light
house work, laundry, and driving a car. (Tr. 62-63.) She was not taking out the garbage or doing
any yard work. (Tr. 63.) Twice a month she went to the grocery store. (Id.) She had no hobbies.
(Id.) She did bible studies at her mom’s house occasionally. (Tr. 63-64.) She did not exercise.
(Tr. 64.) She had one girlfriend that came to visit her. (Id.) She did not eat out. (Tr. 64-65.)
Her husband handled the finances. (Tr. 65.) She was able to balance a checkbook. (Id.) She
was able to perform her own personal hygiene and grooming. (Id.) She did not keep up with her
appointments or medication. (Id.) She did not read or use a computer. (Id.) She did not have a
cell phone. (Id.) She would sit most of the day. (Tr. 66.) She could stand in one spot for about
10 minutes before she would have to sit down. (Id.) She would walk about 200 yards. (Id.) She
could lift less than 10 pounds—about a gallon of milk. (Tr. 66-67.)
Vocational Expert’s Testimony on July 20, 2011
Vocational Expert Marcia Hill testified as follows.
The ALJ asked Hill to consider a hypothetical individual of the same age, education,
vocational background as Jenkins and with the following physical exertional requirements: light
work, as defined in the regulations, work must be performed indoors away from any exposure to
sunlight, must avoid temperature extremes (nothing more than 80 degrees and nothing less than
65 degrees), work that requires the ability only to carry out simple instructions, no contact with
the general public and only incidental or superficial work related contact with supervisors and
coworkers. (Tr. 68-69.) Hill testified that such a hypothetical person could perform work as a
routing clerk, inspector and hand packager, or a finisher polisher. (Tr. 69.)
If the hypothetical person could only occasionally use her upper extremities for handling
and fingering, then no jobs would be available. (Id.)
Under the Social Security Act, the Commissioner has established a five-step process for
determining whether a person is disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§ 416.920, 404.1529. “‘If a claimant fails
to meet the criteria at any step in the evaluation of disability, the process ends and the claimant is
determined to be not disabled.’” Goff v. Barnhart, 421 F.3d 785, 790 (8th Cir. 2005) (quoting
Eichelberger v. Barnhart, 390 F.3d 584, 590-91 (8th Cir. 2004)). In this sequential analysis, the
claimant first cannot be engaged in “substantial gainful activity” to qualify for disability benefits.
20 C.F.R. §§ 416.920(b), 404.1520(b). Second, the claimant must have a severe impairment. 20
C.F.R. §§ 416.920(c), 404.1520(c). The Social Security Act defines “severe impairment” as
“any impairment or combination of impairments which significantly limits [claimant’s] physical
or mental ability to do basic work activities … .” Id. “The sequential evaluation process may be
terminated at step two only when the claimant’s impairment or combination of impairments
would have no more than a minimal impact on [his or] her ability to work.” Page v. Astrue, 484
F.3d 1040, 1043 (8th Cir. 2007) (quoting Caviness v. Massanari, 250 F.3d 603, 605 (8th Cir.
Third, the ALJ must determine whether the claimant has an impairment which meets or
equals one of the impairments listed in the Regulations. 20 C.F.R. §§ 416.920(d), 404.1520(d);
Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. If the claimant has one of, or the medical equivalent of, these
impairments, then the claimant is per se disabled without consideration of the claimant’s age,
education, or work history. Id.
Fourth, the impairment must prevent claimant from doing past relevant work.3 20 C.F.R.
§§ 416.920(e), 404.1520(e). At this step, the burden rests with the claimant to establish his or
her RFC. Steed v. Astrue, 524 F.3d 872, 874 n.3 (8th Cir. 2008); see also Eichelberger, 390 F.3d
at 590-91; Masterson v. Barnhart, 363 F.3d 731, 737 (8th Cir. 2004). RFC is defined as what the
claimant can do despite his or her limitations, 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(a), and includes an
assessment of physical abilities and mental impairments. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(b)-(e). The ALJ
will review a claimant’s RFC and the physical and mental demands of the work the claimant has
done in the past. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(f). If it is found that the claimant can still perform past
relevant work, the claimant will not be found to be disabled. Id.; 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a)(4)(iv).
If the claimant cannot perform past relevant work, the analysis proceeds to Step V.
At the fifth and last step, the ALJ considers the claimant’s RFC, age, education, and work
experience to see if the claimant can make an adjustment to other work.
§ 416.920(a)(4)(v). If it is found that the claimant cannot make an adjustment to other work, the
claimant will be found to be disabled. Id.; see also 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(g). At this step, the
Commissioner bears the burden to “prove, first that the claimant retains the RFC to perform
other kinds of work, and, second that other work exists in substantial numbers in the national
economy that the claimant is able to perform.” Goff, 421 F.3d at 790; Nevland v. Apfel, 204
F.3d 853, 857 (8th Cir. 2000). The Commissioner must prove this by substantial evidence.
Warner v. Heckler, 722 F.2d 428, 431 (8th Cir. 1983).
“Past relevant work is work that [the claimant] has done within the past 15 years, that was substantial gainful
activity, and that lasted long enough for [the claimant] to learn how to do it.” Mueller v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 837, 841
(8th Cir. 2009) (citing 20 C.F.R. § 404.1560(b)(1)).
If the claimant satisfies all of the criteria of the five-step sequential evaluation process,
the ALJ will find the claimant to be disabled. “The ultimate burden of persuasion to prove
disability, however, remains with the claimant.” Id.; see also Harris v. Barnhart, 356 F.3d 926,
931 n.2 (8th Cir. 2004) (citing 68 Fed. Reg. 51153, 51155 (Aug. 26, 2003)).
This court reviews the decision of the ALJ to determine whether the decision is supported
by “substantial evidence” in the record as a whole. See Smith v. Shalala, 31 F.3d 715, 717 (8th
Cir. 1994). “Substantial evidence is less than a preponderance but is enough that a reasonable
mind would find it adequate to support the Commissioner’s conclusion.” Krogmeier v. Barnhart,
294 F.3d 1019, 1022 (8th Cir. 2002); see also Cox v. Astrue, 495 F.3d 614, 617 (8th Cir. 2007).
Therefore, even if a court finds that there is a preponderance of the evidence against the ALJ’s
decision, the ALJ’s decision must be affirmed if it is supported by substantial evidence. Clark v.
Heckler, 733 F.2d 65, 68 (8th Cir. 1984). In Bland v. Bowen, 861 F.2d 533, 535 (8th Cir. 1988),
the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held:
[t]he concept of substantial evidence is something less than the weight of the
evidence and it allows for the possibility of drawing two inconsistent conclusions,
thus it embodies a zone of choice within which the Secretary may decide to grant
or deny benefits without being subject to reversal on appeal.
As such, “[the reviewing court] may not reverse merely because substantial evidence exists for
the opposite decision.” Lacroix v. Barnhart, 465 F.3d 881, 885 (8th Cir. 2006) (quoting Johnson
v. Chater, 87 F.3d 1015, 1017 (8th Cir. 1996)). Similarly, the ALJ decision may not be reversed
because the reviewing court would have decided the case differently. Krogmeier, 294 F.3d at
Jenkins alleges that the ALJ erred in considering only evidence of disability prior to
March 31, 2007 (the date her insured status expired under Title II). (ECF No. 19 at 27.) Jenkins
contends that, pursuant to the Appeals Council’s order of remand and Eighth Circuit case law,
the second ALJ was required to evaluate all of the evidence in the record (even if it occurred
after March 31, 2007) to determine if Jenkins was disabled prior to March 31, 2007.
In the its July 29, 2010 Order, the Appeals Council noted, in relevant part, that the ALJ’s
decision did not contain an evaluation of treating physician, Adam Fitzgerald, M.D., who
expressed the opinion, on January 3, 2010, that Jenkins would have no useful ability to deal with
work stresses or maintain attention and concentration, would have a seriously limited ability to
deal with the public, use judgment, interact with supervisors, understand, remember and carry
out complex jobs instructions, behave in an emotionally stable manner, relate predictably in
social situations, and demonstrate reliability. (Tr. 91-92.) The Appeals Council stated that Dr.
Fitzgerald’s assessment suggests much greater mental limitations than reflected in the decision.
The Appeals Council believed that the ALJ’s opinion did not explain why Dr.
Fitzgerald’s assessment was rejected. (Id.) On remand, the Appeals Council ordered the ALJ to
give further consideration to Jenkins’ maximum RFC and provide appropriate rationale with
specific references to the record in support of the assessed limitations. (Tr. 93.) The Appeals
Council also ordered the ALJ to evaluate the treating source opinions and nonexamining source
opinions and explain the weight given to such opinion evidence. (Id.)
In his decision of October 13, 2011, the ALJ states that “[m]ost of the claimant’s medical
evidence is dated after the March 31, 2007 date last insured status that will not be included in
this adjudication period.” (Tr. 11.) Jenkins claims that this statement means that the ALJ would
not consider any medical evidence dated after March 31, 2007. (ECF No. 19 at 28.) Jenkins
notes that the ALJ’s discussion of the available medical evidence begins at January 5, 2004 and
ends at February 15, 2007, with the exception of a notation that from March 2007 through
October 2007 she was on Celexa. (Tr. 11-12, 13.)
In response, the Commissioner argues that the ALJ properly considered the entire record
to determine that Jenkins was not disabled at any time from her alleged onset date of September
1, 2006 through her date last insured, March 31, 2007. (ECF No. 24 at 5.) The Commissioner
agrees that “[e]vidence from outside the insured period can be used in ‘helping to elucidate a
medical condition during the time for which benefits might be rewarded.’” Cox, 471 F.3d at 907
(“Evidence from outside the insured period can be used in ‘helping to elucidate a medical
condition during the time for which benefits might be rewarded.’”)(quoting Pyland v. Apfel, 149
F.3d 873, 877 (8th Cir.1998)); ECF No. 24 at 5. The Commissioner, however, emphasizes that
“to be entitled to benefits Plaintiff must prove she was disabled before her insurance expired.”
(ECF No. 24 at 5 (citing Cox, 471 F.3d at 907). Instead, the Commissioner argues that evidence
that Jenkins was able to perform the activities of daily living and medical evidence prior to her
date last insured provides sufficient evidence that she was not disabled prior to March 31, 2007.
(ECF No. 24 at 5-7.)
In Cox v. Barnhart, however, the ALJ considered medical evidence from after the time
when the claimant’s insured status expired. The Eight Circuit noted that “[a]lthough the ALJ did
not give Dr. Hackbarth’s opinion controlling weight, he did not ignore it entirely as Cox
contends.” Cox, 471 F.3d at 907. In contrast, here, the ALJ failed to address the medical source
evidence after the date last insured, including the opinion of Dr. Fitzgerald. Dr. Fitzgerald, for
example, stated that Jenkins’ anxiety and depression “have been chronic beginning in childhood
but have worsened over the past three years.” (Tr. 832.) Dr. Fitzgerald noted that “Ruschel’s
typical response is one where she seeks isolation, becomes tearful, and is unable to process
situations and make appropriate decisions to handle the given situation. With this type of
response, Ruschell found herself unable to perform the tasks required of her in full-time
employment.” (Id.) The ALJ never addresses this opinion, which clearly implicates the time
period before the date last insured. Further, the ALJ did not follow the directive of the Appeals
Council, which ordered the ALJ to consider the opinions of Dr. Fitzgerald, even though his
opinions were provided outside of the insured period. See Basinger v. Heckler, 725 F.2d 1166,
1169 (8th Cir. 1984)(“medical evidence of a claimant's condition subsequent to the expiration of
the claimant's insured status is relevant evidence because it may bear upon the severity of the
claimant's condition before the expiration of his or her insured status”); Bastian v. Schweiker,
712 F.2d 1278, 1282, n.4 (8th Cir.1983); Boyd v. Heckler, 704 F.2d 1207, 1211 (11th Cir.1983);
Dousewicz v. Harris, 646 F.2d 771, 774 (2d Cir.1981); Poe v. Harris, 644 F.2d 721, 723 n. 2 (8th
Cir.1981); Gold v. Secretary of H.E.W., 463 F.2d 38, 41–42 (2d Cir.1972); Berven v. Gardner,
414 F.2d 857, 861 (8th Cir.1969). The Court finds the ALJ’s narrow focus upon the medical
records solely prior to the date last insured to be error and contrary to the remand order of the
On remand, the ALJ must consider and evaluate medical evidence that
occurred after the date last insured if it relates to or implicates Jenkins’ medical condition during
the insured period.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action is REVERSED AND REMANDED to the
ALJ to again give further consideration to Jenkins’ maximum RFC and provide appropriate
rationale with specific references to the record in support of the assessed limitations and to
evaluate the treating source opinions and nonexamining source opinions and explain the weight
given to such opinion evidence, even if such opinions were provided after the date last insured.
The ALJ must state whether such medical opinions pertain to Jenkins’ condition prior to the date
insured date and, if so, explain their relevance to the ALJ’s disability determination.
A separate written judgment will be entered on this date in favor of Jenkins and reversing
and remanding this case for further proceedings pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. §405(g).
Dated this 26th day of March, 2014.
JOHN A. ROSS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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