United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
J. Furse United States Magistrate Judge
parties in this case have consented to having United States
Magistrate Evelyn J. Furse conduct all proceeding this this
case, including entry of final judgment, with appeal to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
(See 28 U.S.C. § 636 (c); F.R.C.P. 73; Docket
(“Dkt”) 15). Plaintiff, Andrew Gerow, (“Mr.
Gerow”) appeals the Commissioner of Social
Security's decision denying his claim for Disability
Insurance Benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act
(the Act), 42 U.S.C.§§401-433, as well as,
Supplemental Security Income, 42 U.S.C.
§§1381-1383f. (Dkt. 3). Having considered the
parties' briefs, the administrative record, the arguments
of counsel, and the relevant law, the Court REVERSES and
REMANDS the Commissioner's decision for further
Gerow filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”), as well as, Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) on October 9, 2014, alleging disability
beginning June 1, 2003. (A.R. 182-188, 189-197). Mr.
Gerow's claim was initially denied on January 16, 2015,
and upon reconsideration on April 30, 2015. (A.R. 75-76,
117-118). Thereafter, Mr. Gerow timely requested a hearing
before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) on May
14, 2015. (A.R. 135-137).
hearing was held on August 15, 2015 in St. George, Utah
before Administrative Law Judge, Christopher R. Daniels.
(A.R. 27-44). At the hearing, Mr. Gerow's onset date was
amended to December 31, 2008. (A.R. 12). The ALJ issued a
decision finding Mr. Gerow not disabled on August 31, 2015.
(A.R. 7-26). The Appeals Council denied Mr. Gerow's
request for review on November 20, 2015. (A.R. 1-3). This
Appeals Council denial was the final administrative decision
of the Commissioner of Social Security in this case. Thus,
the ALJ decision stands as the final decision of the
Gerow brought this action to appeal the Commissioner's
decision pursuant to 24 U.S.C. § 405(g), which provides
for judicial review of the defendant's final decision.
Gerow is treated by Dr. Stephen Clark. Dr. Clark diagnosed
chronic back pain and arthritis. (A.R. 304, 325). He
prescribed methadone for Mr. Gerow's physical pain. (A.R.
298). Mr. Gerow has depression and anxiety that is treated
with medication. (A.R. 298, 301). In 2009, Dr. Clark noted
that Mr. Gerow was under his care for depression, chronic
pain, and abnormal liver function tests. (A.R. 319).
this time, Mr. Gerow was also seen for issues with his
prostate and urination. (A.R. 320, 322, 325). Imaging studies
show small cysts on his kidneys. (A.R. 331). X-rays of Mr.
Gerow's knees show mild to moderate degenerative
arthropathic changes. (A.R. 353). X-rays of the lumbar spine
show mild scoliosis and spondylitic changes manifested as
endplate sclerosis, marginal spurring, and lower lumbar fact
arthropathy. (A.R. 354). Due to his chronic pain, Mr. Gerow
was referred to a sports medicine specialist who diagnosed a
cramping syndrome. (A.R. 334-335).
2015, Dr. Clark noted Mr. Gerow was hearing voices. (A.R.
430). His chronic headaches were worsening and he was
experiencing vertigo. (A.R. 430). He had increased urinary
frequency and chronic abdominal pain. (A.R. 430).
Gerow was seen at Southwest Mental Health for counseling.
(A.R. 436). He was diagnosed with depressive disorder and a
psychotic disorder. (A.R. 436). He noted side-effects of
increased appetite and somnolence with his medications. (A.R.
2015, Mr. Gerow was reporting daily headaches, depression and
anxiety, urinary frequency, chronic pain of the legs and
back, abdominal pain, and vertigo. (A.R. 427).
physical consultative exam was performed by Dr. Joseph Nelson
in September 2012. (A.R. 346). Dr. Nelson opined that Mr.
Gerow could perform up to light duty work. (A.R. 351).
Clark filled out a residual functional capacity form in 2014.
(A.R. 369). He diagnosed chronic low back pain and knee pain
supported by x-rays. (A.R. 363). He noted digestive system
issues and abdominal pain. (A.R. 365, 370). He stated Mr.
Gerow has chronic headaches and fatigue. (A.R. 370). Dr.
Clark diagnosed mental disorders including anxiety,
depression, delusions, paranoia, panic disorder, and suicidal
ideation. (A.R. 367). These cause Mr. Gerow to be withdrawn
and have mood swings. (A.R. 367). Dr. Clark noted that a
spinal MRI and CT scan of the brain were recommended but Mr.
Gerow does not have the financial means to obtain this