IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
December 16, 2011
DARLENE S. CHOATE, PLAINTIFF,
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge
MEMORANDUM and ORDER
This matter is now before the Court on the parties' Joint Motion for Remand. (Doc. 22). The parties ask the Court to remand the case for further administrative proceedings pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. §405(g).
Remand of a social security case can only be ordered pursuant to sentence four or sentence six of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). A sentence four remand depends upon a finding of error, and is itself a final, appealable order. In contrast, a sentence six remand is for the purpose of receipt of new evidence, but does not determine whether the Commissioner's decision as rendered was correct. A sentence six remand is not an appealable order. See, Melkonyan v. Sullivan, 501 U.S. 89 (1991); Perlman v. Swiss Bank Corporation Comprehensive Disability Protection Plan, 195 F.3d 975, 978 (7th Cir. 1999).
Here, the Commissioner implicitly confesses error by asking that judgment be entered in favor of plaintiff. Thus, a sentence four remand is appropriate.
The Court notes that Ms. Choate filed her application for benefits in April, 2005, and the ALJ issued his decision in March, 2009. (Tr. 16-21). Administrative remedies were not completed until March, 2011, when the Appeals Council denied review. (Tr. 1). While recognizing that the Agency has a full docket, the Court urges the Commissioner to expedite this matter to the extent practicable.
For good cause shown, the parties' Joint Motion for Remand (Doc. 22) is GRANTED.
The final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying Darlene S. Choate's application for Disability Insurance Benefits is REVERSED and REMANDED to the Commissioner for rehearing and reconsideration of the evidence, pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. §405(g).
The Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of plaintiff. IT IS SO ORDERED.
David R. Herndon Chief Judge United States District Court
2011.12.16 15:18:36 -06'00'
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