Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Peggy W. v. Saul

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

August 9, 2019

PEGGY W., Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.[1]

          MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S ALTERNATIVE MOTION FOR REMAND

          THOMAS M. DIGIROLAMO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Peggy W. 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 application for Supplemental Security Income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and alternative motion for remand (ECF No. 14) and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 17).[2] 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. 14) is GRANTED.

         I Background

         On April 17, 2017, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Brian B. Rippel held a hearing in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Plaintiff and a vocational expert (“VE”) testified. R. at 28-57. The ALJ thereafter found on July 18, 2017, that Plaintiff was not disabled since the application date of July 31, 2014. R. at 9-27. In so finding, the ALJ found that, with regard to concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace, Plaintiff had moderate difficulties. R. at 17.

[Plaintiff] told Dr. Johnson [a consultative examiner] that she has problems with her memory and concentration. However, Dr. Johnson observed that [Plaintiff's] thought processes appeared logical and coherent, and her thought content was appropriate. Her recent and remote memory appeared satisfactory. Dr. Dhir [another consultative examiner] noted [Plaintiff's] complaints that she spends her day limited by pain and generally just watching television. She cares for her own personal needs and bathes. She can make simple meals. She goes to church regularly. She is able to understand and follow simple instructions independently.

         R. at 17 (citations omitted).

         The ALJ then found that Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”)

to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(a) except: sit-stand option alternating every 20 to 30 minutes while staying on task at the work station; only occasional climbing ramps or stairs, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling; no climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; only occasional exposure [to] workplace hazards (including unprotected heights and hazardous machinery); simple, routine tasks, in entry level, unskilled work; in a low stress job (defined as only occasional independent decision making and changes in the work setting); only occasional interaction with [the] public, co-workers, [or] supervisors.

         R. at 17.[3] In light of this RFC and the VE's testimony, the ALJ found that Plaintiff could perform work in the national economy such as a sorter/grader, packer/stacker, or assembler. R. at 22. Plaintiff thus was not disabled since the application date of July 31, 2014. R. at 23.

         After the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, Plaintiff filed on June 26, 2018, 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 fully submitted.

         II

         Disability Determinations and Burden of Proof

         The Social Security Act defines a disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months. 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(1)(A), 1382c(a)(3)(A); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1505, 416.905. A claimant has a disability when the claimant is “not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists . . . in significant numbers either in the region where such individual lives or in several regions of the country.” 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(2)(A), 1382c(a)(3)(B).

         To determine whether a claimant has a disability within the meaning of the Social Security Act, the Commissioner follows a five-step sequential evaluation process outlined in the regulations. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920; see Barnhart v. Thomas, 540 U.S. 20, 24-25, 124 S.Ct. 376, 379-80 (2003). “If at any step a finding of disability or nondisability can be made, the [Commissioner] will not review the claim further.” Thomas, 540 U.S. at 24, 124 S.Ct. at 379; see 20 C.F.R. ยงยง 404.1520(a)(4), 416.920(a)(4). The claimant has the burden of production and proof ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.