Nikita M. v. O’Malley, Case No. 2:23-CV-10722 (D.N.J. Feb. 21, 2024) (Order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King)

Nikita M. v. O’Malley, Case No. 2:23-CV-10722 (D.N.J. Feb. 21, 2024) (Order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King)

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Briefs for purchase:

  • Plaintiff’s Brief and remand order 

Issues briefed:

  1. 1)  The ALJ’s reasons for not crediting the opinions from Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Ajanaku-Makun, Plaintiff’s treating mental health provider, are not based on substantial evidence.

  2. 2)  The ALJ’s mental RFC finding is deficient as it failed to address any limitations in interacting with supervisors.

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  1. 3)  The ALJ’s reasons for not crediting Plaintiff’s subjective complaints are not supported by substantial evidence.

  2. 4)  The ALJ’s reasons for not crediting the lay evidence of record are not supported by substantial evidence.

  3. 5)  The Court should remand pursuant to the sixth sentence of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) in light of new and material evidence.

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:

On remand, the Appeals Council will refer the case to an Administrative Law Judge with instructions to give further consideration to the medical record; further consider the opinion evidence; further consider Plaintiff’s alleged symptoms; offer Plaintiff a new hearing; complete the administrative record; and issue a new decision.

Order at 1.

Topics addressed:

  • RFC - relationship with PRTF findings

  • RFC - interacting with co-workers, supervisors and the public

  • Mental domains - interacting with others

  • Medical opinions (new law) - persuasiveness

  • Medical opinions (new law) - specificity required in findings

  • Lay evidence

  • Subjective symptoms - required findings

  • Subjective symptoms - regulatory factors

  • Sentence 6 remands

    Rulings addressed:
    Social Security Ruling 96-8p Social Security Ruling 96-9p Social Security Ruling 16-3p