Kenneth R. v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., Case No. 3:23-cv-21078-ZNQ (D.N.J. Apr. 15, 2024) (Order by U. S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi)

Kenneth R. v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., Case No. 3:23-cv-21078-ZNQ (D.N.J. Apr. 15, 2024) (Order by U. S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi)

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Briefs for purchase:

  • Plaintiff’s Brief and remand order 

Issues briefed:

  1. 1)  The ALJ’s residual functional assessment is not supported bysubstantial

    evidence.

  2. 2)  The ALJ committed reversible error in evaluating Plaintiff’s subjective complaints by requiring objective evidence to fully substantiate the degree of his pain and associated limitations.

  3. 3)  The Commissioner failed to meet his burden of establishing that there is other work in the national economy that Plaintiff could perform without any accommodations.

Court decision:
After Plaintiff briefed the merits, the Commissioner chose not to defend the ALJ’s decision and instead, sought a voluntary remand. The parties agreed that the case is remanded:

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so that further administrative action may be taken, specifically including: afford Plaintiff the opportunity to appear and testify at a new administrative hearing and to submit additional evidence; further consider Plaintiff’s morbid obesity alone and in combination with his degenerative disc disease and obstructive sleep apnea in accordance with Social Security Ruling 19-2p; give further consideration to Plaintiff’s residual functional capacity, including limitations resulting from his morbid obesity; obtain new vocational evidence; take any action to complete the administrative record; and issue a new decision.

Order at 1.

Topics addressed:

  • Specific impairments: obesity

  • Specific impairments: obstructive sleep apnea

  • RFC - failing to address limitations from morbid obesity

  • Subjective symptoms - failure to follow treatment

  • Subjective symptoms - improper focus on objective evidence

  • Subjective symptoms - regulatory factors

  • Subjective symptoms - mischaracterization of record

  • Vocational testimony - accommodation cannot be considered

  • Vocational testimony - hypothetical question

    Rulings addressed:
    Social Security Ruling 96-8p Social Security Ruling 96-9p Social Security Ruling 00-1c Social Security Ruling 11-2p Social Security Ruling 16-3p Social Security Ruling 19-2p