Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Seid v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division

March 30, 2018

MITCHELL SEID, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, [1] Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RODNEY W. SIPPEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff 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 proceedings.

         Procedural History

         Seid alleged disability beginning March 21, 2013, at the age of 31.[2] He asserts that he was unable to work due to obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar disorder, dyslexia, and hypertension.

         Seid 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).

         In this 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.

         Medical Records and Other Evidence Before the ALJ

         With 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.

         Additional specific facts will be discussed as needed to address the parties' arguments.

         Discussion

         A. Legal Standard

         To be 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. § 423(d)(2)(A).

         To 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.

         Prior 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.

         At Step 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.