Jones v. Social Security Administration Commissioner, No. 3:2014cv03123 - Document 15 (W.D. Ark. 2015)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Mark E. Ford on August 31, 2015. (rg)
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Jones v. Social Security Administration Commissioner Doc. 15 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS HARRISON DIVISION LINDA R. JONES v. PLAINTIFF CIVIL NO. 3:14-cv-3123-MEF CAROLYN W. COLVIN1, Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT MEMORANDUM OPINION Linda Jones (“Plaintiff”) brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) seeking judicial review of a decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (Commissioner) denying her application for supplemental security income (“SSI”). ECF No. 1. This matter is presently before the undersigned by consent of the parties. ECF No. 7. The Commissioner filed an answer to Plaintiff’s action on May 15, 2015, asserting that the findings of the Commissioner were supported by substantial evidence and were conclusive. ECF No. 9. On August 28, 2015, having changed positions, the Commissioner filed a motion requesting that Plaintiff’s case be remanded pursuant to “sentence four” of section 405(g) in order to conduct further administrative proceedings. ECF Nos. 13. More specifically, the Commissioner requests remand to allow the ALJ to reconsider all of the treating medical source evidence and opinions, including those from other sources, pursuant to the provisions of 20 C.F.R. § 416.945 and Social Security Rulings 96-2p and 96-5p; to provide appropriate rationale for the weight afforded such opinion evidence; to recontact medical sources to clarify or obtain any additional evidence; and, 1 Carolyn W. Colvin became the Social Security Commissioner on February 14, 2013. Pursuant to Rule 25(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Carolyn W. Colvin has been substituted for Commissioner Michael J. Astrue as the defendant in this suit. Dockets.Justia.com to obtain testimony from a vocational expert to clarify the effect of the assessed limitations on the occupational base. The exclusive methods by which a district court may remand a social security case to the Commissioner are set forth in “sentence four” and “sentence six” of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). A remand pursuant to “sentence six” is limited to two situations: where the Commissioner requests a remand before answering the complaint, or where the court orders the Commissioner to consider new, material evidence that was for good cause not presented before the agency. The Fourth sentence of the statute provides that “[t]he court shall have power to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing.” 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292, 296 (1993). Here, we find remand is appropriate to allow the ALJ to further evaluate the evidence as addressed above. Therefore, the Commissioner’s motion to remand is hereby GRANTED and the case remanded to the Commissioner for further administrative action pursuant to “sentence four” of section 405(g). DATED this 31st day of August, 2015. /s/ Mark E. Ford HONORABLE MARK E. FORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 2