United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g)
and 1383(c)(3) to obtain judicial review of the final
decision of the Social Security Administration
(“Commissioner”), denying Plaintiff's claim
for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) as
provided under Title XVI of the Social Security Act
(“the Act”). The case is currently pending on
Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative
record (Doc. No. 12), to which Defendant has responded. (Doc.
review of the administrative record as a whole and
consideration of the parties' filings, Plaintiff's
motion (Doc. No. 12) is GRANTED. For the
reasons stated herein, the Court REVERSES
the decision of the Commissioner and REMANDS
this case for further administrative proceedings.
filed an application for SSI on February 25, 2010.
See Transcript of the Administrative Record (Doc.
No. 10) at 74-75. She alleged a disability onset date of
February 7, 2008, but this was later amended to February 25,
2010. AR 14, 74-75. Plaintiff alleged that she was unable to
work because of neuropathy, diabetes, seizures, and pain in
her feet and legs. AR 113.
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
AR 74-75. Pursuant to her request for a hearing before an
administrative law judge (“ALJ”), Plaintiff
appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ
George L. Evans, III on January 20, 2012. AR 56. On April 2,
2012, the ALJ denied the claim. AR 77-79. On July 3, 2013,
the Appeals Council accepted Plaintiff's request for
review of the ALJ's decision and ultimately remanded the
case to the ALJ for further consideration. AR 92. In the
accompanying order, the Appeals Council instructed the ALJ to
obtain additional evidence regarding Plaintiff's physical
and mental impairments, provide further evaluation of
Plaintiff's mental impairments, give further
consideration to Plaintiff's residual functional
capacity, provide further evaluation of Plaintiff's past
work experience, and, if warranted by the expanded record,
obtain evidence from a vocational expert “to clarify
the effect of the assessed limitations on the claimant's
occupational base.” AR 94-95.
remand, Plaintiff appeared with counsel for an additional
hearing before the ALJ on July 21, 2014. On October 27, 2014,
the ALJ again denied Plaintiff's claim. AR 11-13. The
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's second request for
review of the ALJ's decision (AR 1-3), thereby making the
ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.
This civil action was thereafter timely filed, and the Court
has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
THE ALJ FINDINGS
issued a second unfavorable decision on October 27, 2014. AR
11-13. Based upon the record, the ALJ made the following
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since February 25, 2010, the application date (20
CFR 416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
obesity[, ] diabetes, spina bifida, history of seizures[, ]
and major depressive disorder with anxious distress
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR
416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 416.967(a) except that she would be mildly limited in
doing simple jobs and judgment; she has ability to
understand, remember, and carry out simple instructions and
make judgments on simple work-related decisions. She is
moderately limited in ability to interact with others;
understanding, remembering, and carrying out complex
instructions; and making judgments on complex work-related
decisions. She is moderately limited in ability to interact
appropriately with the public, supervisors, and coworkers,
and ability to respond appropriately to usual work situations
and to changes in a routine work setting. She can lift and
carry occasionally up to 10 pounds. She can sit, stand, or
walk continuously for one hour for each for [sic] total of
eight hours each in an eight-hour day, i.e. eight hours
sitting, eight hours standing, eight hours walking. She does
not require a cane for ambulation. She could occasionally
perform reaching overhead with either hand. She can
occasionally use either foot for foot controls. She could
perform frequent handling and fingering with bilateral hands.
She could occasionally climb stairs and ramps and never climb
ladders or scaffolds. She could occasionally bend, stoop,
kneel, crouch, crawl or be around unprotected heights. She
could occasionally be around moving mechanical parts,
operating motor vehicle, and humidity/wetness. She could have
no exposure to significant pulmonary irritants.
5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).
6. The claimant was born on February 11, 1978 and was 32
years old, which is defined as a younger individual age
18-44, on the date the application was filed (20 CFR
7. The claimant has a high school education and is able to
communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in this case
because the claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR
9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 416.969 and
10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, since February 25, 2010, the date