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Petitt v. Berryhill

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

April 6, 2017

JUDY H. PETITT, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Judy H. Petitt's (“Petitt”) Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (“Motion”) (Doc. No. 11), filed with a Memorandum in Support (Doc. No. 12). Defendant Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) filed a Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. No. 13). Upon consideration of the parties' filings and the transcript of the administrative record (Docket No. 9), [1] and for the reasons given below, the Court will GRANT Petitt's Motion pursuant to the sixth sentence of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and REMAND to the ALJ for a decision after consideration of the new evidence.

         I. Introduction

         On May 11, 2011, Petitt filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act (“the Act”), alleging a disability onset of September 28, 2010 (“alleged onset date”). (A.R. 129.) Petitt's claim was denied at the initial and reconsideration stages of state agency review. (Id. at 60, 59.) Petitt subsequently requested de novo review of her case by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). (Id. at 79.) The ALJ heard the case on February 26, 2013, where Petitt appeared with a representative. (Id. at 29.) Pettit and an impartial vocational expert testified at the hearing. (Id.) The ALJ took the case under advisement at the conclusion of the hearing, and issued a written decision on April 5, 2013 finding Petitt not disabled on the alleged onset date. (Id. at 24.) The ALJ's written decision contains the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 28, 2010, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairment: degenerative disc disease (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526.)
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the Administrative Law Judge finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except that she can lift 20-25 pounds occasionally and 10-12 pounds frequently; stand or walk for four hours in an eight-hour workday; sit six hours in an eight-hour workday; with occasional ability to climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a medical records clerk DOT # 205.362-018. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from September 28, 2010, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f)).

(Id. at 16-24.)

         On July 2, 2014, the Appeals Council denied Petitt' request for review of the ALJ's decision, thereby rendering that decision the final decision of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). (Id. at 1.) This civil action was thereafter timely filed, and the Court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         II. ...


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