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.

Brugmann v. Berryhill

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

March 26, 2019

KATHERINE G. BRUGMANN, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          ABBIE CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Katherine G. Brugmann brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security Administration Commissioner's denial of her application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act.

         An Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that, despite Brugmann's severe impairments, she was not disabled as she had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform work existing in significant numbers in the national economy.

         This 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.

         For the following reasons, the decision of the Commissioner will be reversed and remanded.

         I. Procedural History

         Brugmann filed her applications for benefits on May 12, 2014, claiming that she became unable to work on November 20, 2013. (Tr. 298-312.) In her Disability Report, she alleged disability due to bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), depression, and chronic migraines. (Tr. 339.) Brugmann was 34 years of age at the time of her alleged onset of disability. Her claims were denied initially. (Tr. 232-37.) Following an administrative hearing, Brugmann's claims were denied in a written opinion by an ALJ, dated March 10, 2017. (Tr. 17-33.) Brugmann 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 November 20, 2017. (Tr. 1-5.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as the final decision of the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 416.1481.

         In this action, Brugmann first argues that the ALJ “failed to properly consider RFC.” (Doc. 18 at 3.) She next argues that the ALJ “failed to fully and fairly develop the evidence.” Id. at 10.

         II. The ALJ's Determination

         The ALJ first found that Brugmann met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 22.) Brugmann had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 20, 2013, the application date. Id. In addition, the ALJ concluded that Brugmann had the following severe impairments: bipolar disorder, depression, and chronic headaches. Id. The ALJ found that Brugmann did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments. (Tr. 23.)

         As to Brugmann'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 but with the following nonexertional limitations: She should never be required to work around hazards, such as unprotected heights and she must avoid exposure to concentrated vibration as well as dust, odors, fumes and other pulmonary irritants. She can only work in environments with moderate noise levels. She is limited to performing simple, routine tasks and work requiring only simple work-related decisions. She is capable of frequent interactions with supervisors and co-workers, but should be limited to only occasional contact with the public.

Id.

         The ALJ found that Brugmann was unable to perform any past relevant work, but was capable of performing jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy, such as hand packer, laundry/dry cleaning, and janitor. (Tr. 27-28.) The ALJ therefore concluded that Brugmann was not under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from November 20, 2013, through the date of the decision. (Tr. 29.)

         The ALJ's final decision reads as follows:

Based on the application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits filed on May 12, 2014, the claimant is not disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Social Security Act.
Based on the application for supplemental security income protectively filed on May 12, 2014, the claimant is not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act.

Id.

         III. ...


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.