United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Mitchell Seid brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) seeking judicial review of
the Commissioner's decision denying his application for
disability benefits under the Social Security Disability
Insurance Program (SSDI), Title II of the Social Security
Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-434 and for benefits under
the Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI), Title XVI of
the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381-1385.
For the reasons set forth below, I will reverse the decision
of the Commissioner and remand this matter for further
alleged disability beginning March 21, 2013, at the age of
He asserts that he was unable to work due to obsessive
compulsive disorder, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar disorder, dyslexia, and
applied for SSDI and SSI benefits on March 26, 2018. (Tr.
174) Seid's application was initially denied on June 3,
2014. After a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
(ALJ) on August 14, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision denying
benefits on October 23, 2015. On September 29, 2016, the
Appeals Council denied Seid's request for review. As a
result, the ALJ's decision is the final decision of the
Commissioner. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
action for judicial review, Seid contends that the ALJ's
decision is not supported by substantial evidence on the
record as a whole. Seid specifically argues that the ALJ
erred by assigning “great weight” to the opinion
of a treating therapist but omitted many of the
therapist's limitations from the Residual Functional
Capacity (RFC) assessment without explanation. Seid requests
that I reverse the Commissioner's final decision and
remand the matter for further evaluation. For the reasons
that follow, I will reverse the Commissioner's decision
and remand the case for further proceedings.
Records and Other Evidence Before the ALJ
respect to the medical records and other evidence of record,
I adopt Seid's recitation of facts set forth in his
Statement of Uncontroverted Material Facts (Doc # 12) to
which are all admitted by the Commissioner (Doc # 17-1). I
also adopt the additional facts set forth in the
Commissioner's Statement of Additional Material Facts
(Doc # 17-2), as they are admitted by Seid. Together, these
statements provide a fair and accurate description of the
relevant record before the Court.
specific facts will be discussed as needed to address the
eligible for disability insurance benefits under the Social
Security Act, Seid must prove that he is disabled.
Pearsall v. Massanari, 274 F.3d 1211, 1217 (8th Cir.
2001); Baker v. Secretary of Health & Human
Servs., 955 F.2d 552, 555 (8th Cir. 1992). The Social
Security Act defines disability as the “inability to
engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any
medically determinable physical or mental impairment which
can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can
be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than
12 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). An
individual will be declared disabled “only if his
physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such
severity that he 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 the national economy.” 42 U.S.C.
determine whether a claimant is disabled, the Commissioner
engages in a five-step evaluation process. See 20
C.F.R. § 404.1520; Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S.
137, 140-42 (1987); McCoy v. Astrue, 648 F.3d 605,
611 (8th Cir.2011). At Step One, the ALJ determines whether
the claimant is currently engaging in “substantial
gainful activity”; if so, then he is not disabled. 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(I), 416.920(a)(4)(I);
McCoy, 648 F.3d at 611. At Step Two, the ALJ
determines whether the claimant has a severe impairment,
which is “any impairment or combination of impairments
which significantly limits [the claimant's] physical or
mental ability to do basic work activities”; if the
claimant does not have a severe impairment, he is not
disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(ii),
404.1520(c), 416.920(a)(4)(ii), 416.920(c); McCoy,
648 F.3d at 611. At Step Three, the ALJ evaluates whether the
claimant's impairment meets or equals one of the
impairments listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix
1 (the “listings”). 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(iii), 416.920(a)(4)(iii). If the claimant has
such an impairment, the Commissioner will find the claimant
disabled; if not, the ALJ proceeds with the rest of the
five-step process. 20 C.F.R. § § 404.1520(d),
416.920(d); McCoy, 648 F.3d at 611.
to Step Four, the ALJ must assess the claimant's
“residual functional capacity”
(“RFC”), which is “the most a claimant can
do despite [his] limitations.” Moore v.
Astrue, 572 F.3d 520, 523 (8th Cir.2009) (citing 20
C.F.R. § 404.1545(a)(1)); see also 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(e), 416.920(e). An individual's RFC
is his ability to do physical and mental work activities on a
sustained basis despite limitations from his impairments. In
making the RFC determination, the ALJ must consider all of a
claimant's impairments, including impairments that are
not severe. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e), 404.1545,
416.920(e), and 416.945.
Four, the ALJ determines whether the claimant can return to
his past relevant work, by comparing the claimant's RFC
with the physical and mental demands of the claimant's
past relevant work. 20 C.F.R. § §
404.1520(a)(4)(iv), 404.1520(f), 416.920(a)(4)(iv),
416.920(f); McCoy, 648 F.3d at 611. If the claimant
can perform his past relevant work, he is not disabled; if
the claimant cannot, the analysis proceeds to the next step.
Id. At Step Five, the ALJ considers the
claimant's RFC, age, education, and work experience to
determine whether the claimant can make an adjustment to
other work in the national economy; if the claimant cannot
make an adjustment to other work, the claimant will be found