United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR REMAND
ROBERT H. WHALEY, Senior District Judge.
BEFORE THE COURT is Defendant's Motion for Remand. ECF No. 16. Plaintiff is represented by attorney James Tree, while Defendant is represented by Special Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey McClain. This motion was decided without oral argument.
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a complaint seeking review of the final administrative decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying his applications for a period of disability, disability insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") disability benefits. ECF No. 3. Plaintiff filed his motion for summary judgment and instead of filing a responsive motion, Defendant filed the instant motion to remand. ECF Nos. 12 and 16. Defendant moves the Court for an order remanding this matter for further administrative proceedings. ECF No. 16. Plaintiff responded by moving the Court for an order of remand with instructions to calculate and award benefits and no further proceedings. ECF No. 17 at 2.
The Ninth Circuit has developed a three-part standard governing scenarios where a court should remand with instructions to calculate and award benefits.
(1) The record must be "fully developed and further administrative proceedings would serve no useful purpose;"
(2) The Administrative Law Judge ("ALF) must have "failed to provide legally sufficient reasons for rejecting evidence...; and"
(3)"If the improperly discredited evidence were credited as true, the ALJ would be required to find the claimant disabled on remand."
Garrison v. Colvin, 759 F.3d 995, 1020 (9th Cir. 2014). Even when a person meets the standard, a court may still properly remand for further proceedings when "an evaluation of the record as a whole creates serious doubt that a claimant is, in fact, disabled." Garrison, 759 F.3d at 1021. It is, however, an abuse of discretion for the district court to remand for further proceedings when the record "afford[s] no reason to believe that [the claimant] is not, in fact, disabled." Id.
Plaintiff argues that he is disabled because he meets or exceeds the criteria of Listing 12.05C. ECF No. 17 at 3. Listing 12.05 consists of an "introductory paragraph with the diagnostic description for intellectual disability... and four sets of criteria (paragraphs A through D)." 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 112.00A. A claimant must meet the standard set forth in the introductory paragraph and at least one of the four listed criteria. Id. Listing 12.05 reads, in relevant part,
Intellectual disability refers to significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive functioning initially manifested during the developmental period; i.e., the evidence demonstrates or supports onset of the impairment before age 22.
The required level of severity for this disorder is met when the requirements in A, B, C, or D, are satisfied...
C. A valid verbal, performance, or full IQ of 60 through 70 and a physical or other mental impairment imposing an additional and significant ...