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Mangal v. Berryhill

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

September 14, 2018

STEPHEN MANGAL, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.[1]

          MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S ALTERNATIVE MOTION FOR REMAND

          Thomas M. DiGirolamo, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Stephen Mangal seeks judicial review under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“Defendant” or the “Commissioner”) denying his applications for disability insurance benefits and for Supplemental Security Income under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and alternative motion for remand (ECF No. 15) and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 20).[2] Plaintiff contends that the administrative record does not contain substantial evidence to support the Commissioner's decision that he is not disabled. No hearing is necessary. L.R. 105.6. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's alternative motion for remand (ECF No. 15) is GRANTED.

         I

         Background

         On June 8, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court seeking review of the Commissioner's final decision. Upon the parties' consent, this case was transferred to a United States Magistrate Judge for final disposition and entry of judgment. The case then was reassigned to the undersigned. The parties have briefed the issues, and the matter is now fully submitted.

         II

         Summary of Evidence

         A. Plaintiff's Testimony

Plaintiff waived his appearance at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) on November 10, 2016. R. at 359. The ALJ reviewed in her decision Plaintiff's testimony from previous hearings: [Plaintiff] alleges based on prior job experiences that he would be a risk to himself if required to work. He testified he is afraid to go to work because he would be a danger to himself and others. [Plaintiff] alleges insomnia. He alleges irritability, hostility, and panic attacks under stress.
[Plaintiff] also reported he gets anxious when taking instructions or being criticized on the job and that he cannot handle fast-paced work. He also consistently speaks of being irritable and preoccupied with his own thoughts. He also speaks of social phobias and recounts having to leave community college because he panicked in a large class auditorium and kept leaving class early.

R. at 321-22 (citations omitted).

         B. VE Testimony

         The VE testified that a hypothetical individual with the same age, education, and work experience as Plaintiff and with the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) outlined below in Part III could perform unskilled work such as the sedentary job of taper for printed circuit boards, the light job of pre-assembler for printed circuit boards, and the medium job of floor waxer.[3] R. at 368-69. Such a hypothetical individual who also would be able to remain on task 90% or more of an eight-hour workday could perform these jobs. R. at 370-71. An individual off task 20% or more of an eight-hour workday could not perform any work in the national economy, however. R. at 371. With the exception of her testimony regarding productivity, the VE's testimony was consistent with the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.[4] R. at 371.

         III

         Summary of ALJ's Decision

         On February 8, 2017, the ALJ found that Plaintiff (1) had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date of disability of November 1, 2002; and (2) had an impairment or a combination of impairments considered to be “severe” on the basis of the requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations; but (3) did not have an impairment or a combination of impairments meeting or equaling one of the impairments set forth in 20 C.F.R. pt. 404, subpt. P, app. 1; and (4) had no past relevant work; but (5) could perform work in the national economy, such as a ...


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