United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
BOB L. FRASER PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
following proposed Recommendation has been sent to Chief
United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. You may file
written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If
you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain
the factual and/or legal basis for your objection, and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Bob L. Fraser (“Fraser”) began this case by
filing a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 405(g). In the
complaint, he challenged the final decision of the Acting
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“Commissioner”), a decision based upon the
findings of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”).
maintains that the ALJ's findings are not supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. Fraser offers
several reasons why, one of which has merit. Fraser maintains
that the ALJ erred when she balked at the request to hear
from Fraser's wife during the administrative hearing and
thereafter failed to give her a reasonable opportunity to
submit a written statement. The undersigned agrees.
record reflects that Fraser filed an application for
supplemental security income payments on June 17, 2016. In
the application, he alleged that he is disabled and unable to
work because of a bipolar disorder, an obsessive compulsive
disorder, gout, and back problems. He supported his
application, in part, with the progress notes from Daysprings
Behavioral Health Services (“Daysprings”) where
he was seen for his mental impairments. The application was
denied initially and on reconsideration.
27, 2017, a hearing was held before an ALJ. See
Transcript at 81-117. Fraser testified during the hearing
that he lives with his wife and has worked with her on
occasion. When he was asked about his visits to Daysprings,
he testified as follows:
Q. And can you tell me a little bit about - you've been
going to Day Springs, looks like for two and a half, almost
three years now?
A. Yes, ma'am.
Q. Do you feel like they're the ones that know the most
about your condition mentally?
A. They know a lot about it. I feel like my wife knows more
about it than they do, probably, but they know a lot.
Q. Yeah, and you had told me that. It was real important that
you wanted your wife to testify. I'm aware of that.
Q. But - but - you feel like she knows you more than anybody.
That you do go to Day Springs, don't you?
A. They know me a lot, too. Because I tell them about
everything that's going on with me. (INAUDIBLE).
See Transcript at 93-94. At the conclusion of
Fraser's testimony, the following exchange occurred
between the ALJ and ...