Politte v. Astrue
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge is SUSTAINED, ADOPTED, and INCORPORATED herein except that the case will be remanded with directions to awa rd Plaintiff benefits. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the decision of the Commissioner denying Plaintiffs application for supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act is REVERSED and this case is REMANDED with directions to award Plaintiff benefits. Signed by District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on 12/17/2013. (NCL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Case No. 4:12CV02100 AGF/DDN
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting
Commissioner of Social Security,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Currently before the Court is the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate
Judge to whom this matter was referred for recommended disposition pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b). On September 20, 2013, the Magistrate Judge filed a Report and
Recommendation, recommending that the Court reverse the decision of the
Administrative Law Judge to deny Plaintiff’s application for supplemental security
income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act and remand the case for further
proceedings. The Magistrate Judge recommended that, on remand, the Commissioner
should be ordered to consider controlling all of Dr. Syed Raza’s findings and opinions,
including the unpredictable nature of bipolar disorder.
Upon careful consideration of the Report and Recommendation and the record in
this case, the Court concurs with the Magistrate Judge’s analysis of the evidence and
agrees that the decision of the Commissioner should be reversed. The practical result of
giving Dr. Raza’s decision controlling weight would be a finding, based upon the
testimony of the vocational expert at the evidentiary hearing held on January 11, 2012,
that Plaintiff is disabled. The Court sees no reason to prolong the case, which has already
been remanded once, and believes that Plaintiff’s request for an order directing the
Commissioner to award her benefits on remand should be granted. See, e.g., Pate-Fires
v. Astrue, 564 F.3d 935, 947 (8th Cir. 2009) (explaining that reversal and remand for an
immediate award of benefits is the appropriate remedy where the record overwhelmingly
supports a finding of disability (citing Parsons v. Heckler, 739 F.2d 1334, 1341 (8th Cir.
1984) (“Where further hearings would merely delay receipt of benefits, an order granting
benefits is appropriate.”))).
The Court rejects the Commissioner’s position that if the decision to deny benefits
is to be reversed, the Court should remand the case for further proceedings rather than for
an award of benefits.1 The Court believes that the Commissioner’s argument in this
regard is based on an incomplete reading of the evidence before the Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) prior to the first remand in this case. Reviewing that evidence, including
the testimony of the vocational expert at the August 26, 2008 evidentiary hearing and Dr.
Reza’s post-hearing letter in response to an inquiry by the ALJ, the Court remains
convinced that remand with instructions to award benefits is the correct course of action
in this case.
Neither party objected to the Magistrate Judge’s R&R. The Court advised the
Commissioner of its intent to remand the case with direction to award benefits and
afforded the Commissioner the opportunity to respond.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation of the United
States Magistrate Judge is SUSTAINED, ADOPTED, and INCORPORATED herein
except that the case will be remanded with directions to award Plaintiff benefits.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the decision of the Commissioner denying
Plaintiff’s application for supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social
Security Act is REVERSED and this case is REMANDED with directions to award
A separate Judgment shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 17th day of December, 2013.
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