United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
February 27, 2014
TANIA RUTLEDGE, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MARY ALICE THEILER, Chief Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff brought this action to seek judicial review of the denial of an application for disability benefits by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. The parties now stipulate this case should be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. (Dkt. 18.)
Based on the stipulation of the parties, the Court recommends this case be REVERSED and REMANDED for further administrative proceedings pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). On remand, the Administrative Law Judge shall: (1) hold a de novo hearing and plaintiff may raise any issue; (2) update the treatment evidence on plaintiff's medical condition, including adding to the record counseling notes from Norma Esperance, of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services, from October 30, 2007 through December 4, 2009; (3) consider whether plaintiff has any severe mental impairment(s) at step two and articulate how he has evaluated the severity of all medically determinable mental impairments under the special technique; (4) reevaluate and articulate how he has evaluated the credibility of plaintiff's subjective complaints; (5) evaluate the treating and examining medical source evidence and opinions of Ellen Walker Lind, Ph.D., Rodney Thompson, M.D., and the medical evidence from Ms. Esperance, and explain the reasons for the weight he gives to this opinion evidence; (6) reassess plaintiff's residual functional capacity on the updated record, citing specific evidence in support of any assessed limitations; and (7) as appropriate, secure supplemental evidence from a vocational expert to clarify the effect of the assessed limitations on plaintiff's occupational base at step five of the sequential evaluation process. Also, upon proper application, the Court will consider plaintiff's application for attorneys' fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 24 U.S.C. § 2412, et seq.
The Court recommends that United States District Judge Richard A. Jones immediately approve this Report and Recommendation and order the case REVERSED and REMANDED for further administrative proceedings pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). A proposed order accompanies this Report and Recommendation.