United States District Court, District of Columbia
DEBORAH A. ROBINSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Shirlonda Monroe-Evans seeks judicial review of a decision of
the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
("SSA") denying her application for disability
insurance benefits, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Complaint (ECF No. 1) ¶¶3-4. This action initially
was originally referred to the undersigned for the completion
of a report and recommendation. 10/12/2016 Docket Entry. Upon
the consent of the parties, this action was subsequently
assigned to the undersigned for all purposes. Notice,
Consent, and Reference of a Civil Action to a Magistrate
Judge (ECF No. 16).
pending for determination are Plaintiff s Motion for Judgment
of Reversal (ECF No. 9) and Defendant's Motion for
Judgment of Affirmance (ECFNo. 10). Upon consideration of the
motions, the memoranda in support thereof and in opposition
thereto, and the entire record herein, the court will grant
Plaintiffs motion, and remand this action to the SSA for the
award of benefits. The court will deny Defendant's
had previously applied for, and been granted, a period of
disability benefits from September 2, 2010 through November
1, 2011. See Administrative Record ("AR")
(ECF No. 6) at 97-98. That period of disability ended when
Plaintiff returned to full-time work on November 2, 2011.
Id. at 98. On September 12, 2013, Plaintiff
protectively filed a second Title II application for
disability insurance benefits and alleged anew disability
onset date of September 9, 2013. Id. at 20.
Plaintiff reported that she suffers from "[r]uptured
achilles tendons in right leg." Id. at 218.
Plaintiffs application was initially denied by the SSA on May
30, 2014, and was subsequently denied upon reconsideration on
January 9, 2015. Id. at 131-34, 140-43.
filed a written request for a hearing, see Id. at
16, and appeared before an Administrative Law Judge
("ALJ") on December 9, 2015, see Id. at
20. The ALJ denied Plaintiff s application on February 18,
2016. See Id. at 17-34. In the decision, the ALJ
found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since September 9, 2013. Id. at22.
Additionally, the ALJ found that Plaintiff has the following
severe impairments: "Achilles tendonitis, pseudotumor
cerebri, obesity, and major depression not otherwise
specified[.]" Id. at 23. The ALJ also found
that Plaintiff "does not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the
severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404,
Subpart P, Appendix l[.]" Id. Lastly, the ALJ
found that Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity
perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a)
except she is limited to lifting and carrying ten pounds
occasionally, less that ten pounds frequently; standing or
walking two hours, sitting six hours in an eight hour work
day; pushing and pulling occasionally with the right lower
extremity; never climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds,
occasionally climbing ramps and stairs, kneeling, crouching,
and crawling. The claimant can perform simple, routine and
Id. at 25.
on the Plaintiffs RFC determination, the ALJ found that
"there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the
national economy that the claimant can perform" such
that she "has not been under a disability, as defined in
the Social Security Act, from September 9, 2013, through the
date of this decision[.]" Id. at 33, 34.
sought review of the ALJ's decision from the SSA, which
the SSA denied on March 22, 2016, thereby rendering the
ALJ's decision "the final decision of the
Commissioner[.]" Id. at 1. Plaintiff then
commenced the instant action.
Social Security Act of 1935 established a framework to
provide "disability insurance benefits" to eligible
individuals and "supplemental security income" to
individuals who have "attained age 65[, ] ... areblind[,
] or disabled." 42U.S.C. §§ 423, 1381, 1381a.
The Act defines "disability" for non-blind
individuals as "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); 20 C.F.R. § 416.905. A
"disabled" individual is eligible for supplemental
security income if he or she meets additional statutory
requirements concerning income and resources. 42 U.S.C.
§ 1382(a). The SSA has promulgated regulations, pursuant
to the Act, outlining a five-step process for the
determination of whether adult claimants are disabled.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920.
the SSA evaluates whether the claimant is "doing
substantial gainful activity." 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(i), (b); 416.920(a)(4)(i), (b). If so, the SSA
concludes that the claimant is not disabled. Id.
if the claimant is not engaging in substantial gainful
activity, the SSA determines whether the claimant has a
"severe medically determinable physical or medical
impairment that meets the duration requirement ... or a
combination of impairments that is severe and meets the