United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S
ALTERNATIVE MOTION FOR REMAND
M. DiGirolamo United States Magistrate Judge
Dianne Wakefield 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 her 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. 16) and
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
Plaintiff contends that the administrative record does not
contain substantial evidence to support the
Commissioner's decision that she is not disabled. No.
hearing is necessary. L.R. 105.6. For the reasons that
follow, Plaintiff's alternative motion for remand (ECF
No. 16) is GRANTED.
February 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court
seeking review of the Commissioner's 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
October 13, 2015, decision, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Eugene Bond reviewed Plaintiff's
testimony from the hearing on June 25, 2015, where Plaintiff
and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified:
[Plaintiff] alleges disabling limitations due to panic,
anxiety attacks, COPD, depression, high blood pressure, and
vertigo. [Plaintiff] testified that she stopped working
because she was terminated. She stated that she does not know
why she was terminated. She stated that she has not looked
for other work because she is ill. She stated that she can
stand for ten minutes at a time. She testified that she
stopped driving one year ago, but she stopped because her
neck “really really bothers” her. She reported
daily neck pain radiating throughout her arms and legs, worse
in her right arm. [Plaintiff] stated that she has low back
pain. She reported that her daughter lives with her; her
daughter and sister do grocery shopping and she receives
rides to doctor's appointments. On a typical day, she
wakes up in pain, takes her prescribed medications, and lies
in her bed. [Plaintiff] stated that she takes medication for
depression and anxiety. She reported medication side effects
including sleepiness and drowsiness. [Plaintiff's]
representative added that [Plaintiff] uses a cane for
R. at 17 (citation omitted).
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 Plaintiff's past relevant
work as a group home manager and mental health worker. R. at
68-69. Being off task up to 20% of a day would preclude all
work, however. R. at 69. A person absent for two days per
week could not perform any work on a full-time basis. R. at
69. According to the VE, his testimony was consistent with
the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. R. at 69-70.
of ALJ's Decision
October 13, 2015, the ALJ found that Plaintiff (1) had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since the amended
alleged onset date of July 11, 2009; 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) could perform her past
relevant work as a group home manager and mental ...