Patterson v. Commissioner of SSA, No. 15-2487 (4th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff challenges the denial of her application for social security disability benefits. Before the court is an issue of first impression regarding whether an ALJ's failure to follow the special technique required by 20 C.F.R. 404.1520a when evaluating a claimant’s mental impairment requires remand or may constitute harmless error. The court held that such an error does not automatically require remand, but that the error was not harmless on these facts. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's order denying benefits and remanded with instructions to the ALJ for appropriate review of plaintiff's mental impairment.