United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
Maloof, Plaintiff, represented by Michael J. Kelley, Law
Office of Michael J. Kelley.
Carolyn W. Colvin, Defendant, represented by Michael P. Sady,
United States Attorney's Office.
Security Administration, Interested Party, represented by
Thomas D. Ramsey, Office of the General Counsel.
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REVERSE AND
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO AFFIRM
SOROKIN, District Judge.
Joseph Arthur Maloof has filed a Motion to Reverse the
decision by Defendant Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner of
the Social Security Administration ("SSA"), to deny
Plaintiff's application for Title II disability insurance
benefits ("DIB"). Docs. 19, 20. Defendant has filed
a Motion to Affirm the denial of benefits. Docs. 24, 25. For
the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion is
ALLOWED to the extent that it requests remand, and
Defendant's Motion is DENIED.
March 19, 2012, Plaintiff filed an application for DIB.
Administrative Record ("AR") at 69. Plaintiff
originally alleged an onset date of disability
("AOD") of December 1, 2009, but later (on
September 11, 2013) amended the AOD to January 1, 2012. See
id. at 69, 158. Plaintiff, who served in the Army, claims he
is disabled due to a variety of conditions, including,
inter alia, post-traumatic stress disorder
("PTSD"), bipolar disorder, knee pain, and
hepatitis C. Id . at 73. Plaintiff's application
for DIB was denied initially and upon reconsideration.
Id . at 78, 92.
September 11, 2013, a hearing was held, at Plaintiff's
request, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ")
William Ramsey. Id . at 25, 104. Plaintiff was
represented by counsel and testified at the hearing, as did
an impartial vocational expert. Id . at 25-50.
November 27, 2013, the ALJ issued a decision finding
Plaintiff was not disabled from his AOD through the date of
the decision. Id . at 11. In reaching the decision,
the ALJ found, inter alia, that Plaintiff's
mental impairments (1) limited him "to occasional social
interaction with the public, co-workers and
supervisors"; (2) imposed "moderate limitations in
interacting with others"; and (3) imposed "moderate
limitations in concentration and attention, " thus
limiting Plaintiff to "simple routine tasks."
Id . at 13-14.
December 27, 2013, Plaintiff filed a claim for "service
connected compensation" with the Department of Veterans
Affairs ("VA"). Doc. 20-1 at 2.
January 24, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a Request for Review of
the ALJ's decision ("Request for Review") to
the SSA's Appeals Council. AR at 7. The Request for
Review instructed Plaintiff as follows:
If you have additional evidence[, ] submit it with this
request for review[.] If you need additional time to submit
evidence or legal argument, you must request an extension of
time in writing now[.]... If you neither submit evidence or
legal argument now nor within any extension of time the
Appeals Council grants, the Appeals Council will take its
action based on the evidence of record.
When Plaintiff submitted his Request for Review, he submitted
one piece of additional evidence - his counsel's letter
brief to the ALJ - and did not request an extension of time
to submit more evidence. See id. at 5.
16, 2014, the VA issued a decision ("VA rating
decision") assigning Plaintiff a 100 percent disability
rating as of April 27, 2012, based on Plaintiff's
"bipolar depression with anxiety (claimed originally as
posttraumatic stress disorder)." Doc. 20-1 at 9. In
reaching that decision, the VA found Plaintiff's mental