United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
CRITES-LEONI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Devin Alexander brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration Commissioner's denial of his application
for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under
Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that,
despite Alexander's severe mental impairments, he was not
disabled as he had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform work existing in significant
numbers in the national economy.
matter is pending before the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge, with consent of the parties, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c). A summary of the entire record is
presented in the parties' briefs and is repeated here
only to the extent necessary.
following reasons, the decision of the Commissioner will be
reversed and remanded.
filed his application for SSI on December 16, 2014, claiming
that he became unable to work on April 1, 2009. (Tr. 135-40.) In
his Disability Report, he alleged disability due to severe
social anxiety and mood disorder. (Tr. 162.) Alexander was 20
years of age at the time of his alleged onset of disability.
His claim was denied initially. (Tr. 73.) Following an
administrative hearing, Alexander's claim was denied in a
written opinion by an ALJ, dated September 15, 2016. (Tr.
10-25.) Alexander then filed a request for review of the
ALJ's decision with the Appeals Council of the Social
Security Administration (SSA), which was denied on September
25, 2017. (Tr. 1-4.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as
the final decision of the Commissioner. See 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 416.1481.
action, Alexander argues that the ALJ “failed to
provide an RFC supported by substantial evidence in that the
ALJ did not properly consider the opinion from
Alexander's treating doctor, Dr. Mirza.” (Doc. 11
The ALJ's Determination
first found that Alexander has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since November 16, 2014, the application
date. (Tr. 15.) In addition, the ALJ concluded that Alexander
had the following severe impairments: social phobia, schizoid
personality disorder, mood disorder, and psychosis not otherwise
specified. Id. The ALJ found that Alexander did not
have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets
or medically equals the severity of one of the listed
impairments. (Tr. 16.)
Alexander's RFC, the ALJ stated:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform a range of work at all
exertional levels. He is limited to simple, routine,
repetitive tasks with occasional interaction with co-workers,
and no interaction with the general public. He retains the
ability to accept supervision on a basic level.
(Tr. 18.) In making this determination, the ALJ assigned
“significant weight” to the opinion of
non-examining State agency psychological consultant Alan
Aram, Psy.D. (Tr. 20.) By comparison, the ALJ gave
“little weight” to the Medical Source Statement
of treating psychiatrist Naveed Mirza, M.D. Id.
found that Alexander had no past relevant work, but was
capable of performing jobs existing in significant numbers in
the national economy, such as industrial cleaner, tumbler
operator, and lamination assembler. (Tr. 21-22.) The ALJ
therefore concluded that Alexander was not under a
disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since
November 16, 2014, the date the application was filed. (Tr.
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for supplemental security income
protectively filed on November 16, 2014, the claimant is not
disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security