United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
I. Schenkier, Magistrate Judge
Social Security appeal, plaintiff Antoinette Eddins seeks
reversal and remand of the final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security ("Commissioner") (doc. # 15).
For the reasons set forth below, we grant Ms. Eddins'
motion to remand and deny the Commissioner's motion to
affirm (doc. # 25).
January 27, 2012, Ms. Eddins filed for benefits alleging a
disability onset date of October 1, 2006, later amended to
May 16, 2009 (R. 23). Her date last insured was December 31,
2012 (R. 16). She has not worked since 2007, when she was
terminated from her job as a bus monitor after missing too
much work (R. 43-44). After her claim was denied initially
and on reconsideration, Ms. Eddins appeared and testified at
a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
("ALT) on November 8, 2013 (R. 36-63).
The ALJ issued an opinion denying benefits on February 20,
2014 (R. 13-30). On February 5, 2015, the Appeals Council
denied Ms. Eddins' request for review (R. 7), making the
ALJ's ruling the final decision of the Commissioner.
See Loveless v. Colvin, 810 F.3d 502, 506 (7th Cir.
Eddins sought treatment for several different medical
ailments. She visited her primary care physician, William
Crevier M.D., in October and November 2009, who listed her
diagnoses as major depression, panic attacks/panic disorder,
asthma, fibromyalgia, tension headaches, and hyperthyroidism
(R. 252-53, 515-16). Dr. Crevier prescribed medications
including Ultram (a narcotic used to treat moderate to severe
pain), Lyrica (used to treat nerve and muscle pain, including
fibromyalgia), and Effexor (used to treat depression,
generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social
anxiety disorder) (Id.).
Eddins saw Jerry Coltro, M.D., a specialist in rheumatology,
from January 28, 2007 through at least December 1, 2010. On
December 1, 2010, Dr. Coltro filled out a fibromyalgia
questionnaire. Although he checked the box stating that Ms.
Eddins does not meet the American Rheumatological criteria
for fibromyalgia, he noted that she was positive for pain in
her upper and lower back, knees, ankles, feet, thoracic spine
and chest, all of which improved with exercise and Effexor
(R. 503-05). Dr. Coltro opined that Ms. Eddins'
impairments lasted or could be expected to last at least 12
months, and that she is not a malingerer (R. 505). He opined
that Ms. Eddins had the residual functional capacity
("RFC") to sit or stand only one hour continuously
before she would need to stretch and exercise and could never
lift or carry more than five pounds (R. 506-07). Dr. Coltro
opined that Ms. Eddins was likely to have good days and bad
days, and would likely to be absent from work more than three
times per month (R. 507). Nevertheless, he noted that she was
responding to treatment, and her prognosis was good (R. 503,
Eddins saw a podiatrist from April 24, 2009 to November 15,
2010, who treated her for painful and abnormal gait caused by
tarsal tunnel syndrome (compressed tibial nerve) and a heel
spur (R. 274). In January and February 2011, Ms. Eddins
received 14 sessions of physical therapy to address her pain
and decreased range of motion and strength in her right
ankle/foot, after which she still had moderate pain (R.
275-77). An X-ray of her ankle was unremarkable (R. 358), but
an MRI on February 21, 2011 showed chronic sprains (R. 360).
Eddins also reported pain and intermittent numbness and
tingling in her neck and right shoulder (R. 566). An MRI of
Ms. Eddins' right shoulder on June 1, 2011, showed some
partial tearing and mild narrowing (R. 288), but an X-ray of
her cervical spine on July 25, 2011 was within normal limits
(R. 564). On October 6, 2011, Ms. Eddins underwent right
shoulder arthroscopy to repair her partial rotator cuff tear
and right shoulder impingement (R. 291).
Eddins received individual mental health therapy from a
social worker, Lamont Taylor, LCSW, approximately one to
three times per month from at least May 2011 through October
2012. Mr. Taylor and Ms. Eddins often spent their sessions
discussing her family and relationship stressors,
particularly her sons (R. 378-80, 382-84, 386-88, 394, 396,
399, 454-55). In June and July 2011, Mr. Taylor noted that
Ms. Eddins appeared depressed and complained of severe sleep
trouble (R. 400-02). He was concerned by Ms. Eddins'
negative self-talk and automatic thought distortions (R.
397-98). In September 2011, Mr. Taylor noted that Ms. Eddins
was depressed due to her multiple medical problems, which she
said caused her "unbearable pain" (R. 393). In
October 2011, Ms. Eddins reported to Mr. Taylor that her mood
improved with new medications prescribed by her psychiatrist
Milton Daugherty, M.D., including Geodon (used for treating
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), Buproprion
(anti-depressant), and Alprazolam (sedative used to treat
anxiety and panic disorder) (R. 392). In March, May and June
2012, Ms. Eddins also reported that she was feeling less
depressed due to medication and therapy (R. 377, 452-53).
23, 2012, Christine C. Kieffer, Ph.D., a clinical
psychologist, conducted a psychological examination of Ms.
Eddins for the Bureau of Disability Determination Services
("DDS"). Ms. Eddins told Dr. Kieffer that she
suffered from bipolar syndrome and panic disorder with
agoraphobia, with symptoms including severe insomnia, social
isolation, daily crying jags and auditory hallucinations (R.
406-07). Dr. Kieffer observed that Ms. Eddins was oriented to
person, place and time, cooperative, responsive, socially
appropriate and had a capacity for insight and social
judgment within normal limits (R. 406). However, Dr. Kieffer
found that Ms. Eddins' capacity for attention and
concentration was "markedly impaired, " as was her
capacity for arithmetic calculation; she was able to repeat 4
digits forward and 3 digits backward but was unable to add,
subtract or multiply (Id.). In addition, her fund of
general information was "very poor, " as she could
not recount recent news events or differentiate between
cities and states, though she was able to name the current
U.S. President (Id.). Ms. Eddins' capacity for
abstract conceptual reasoning was "somewhat
impaired" because she was unable to interpret proverbs,
but she was able to identify similarities between common
same date, Liana G. Palacci, D.O., conducted an internal
medical examination of Ms. Eddins for DDS. Ms. Eddins
reported that she had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia four
years earlier and that she suffered from generalized muscle
aches, fatigue and insomnia (R. 410). Upon examination, Dr.
Palacci observed that Ms. Eddins could heal-and-toe stand and
knee squat, and that she had a non-antalgic gait with no
assistive devices, normal strength in her upper and lower
extremities, negative straight leg test, and normal range of
motion everywhere, except that she refused the lumbar range
of motion testing due to pain (R. 411-12). Ms. Eddins had
"exquisite tenderness on palpation" at 18 of 18
tender points, which was "consistent with
fibromyalgia" (Id.). Dr. Palacci opined that
Ms. Eddins' asthma was well-controlled, but that she had
poorly controlled fibromyalgia (R. 412).
18, 2012, state agency physician, Terry A. Travis, M.D.,
reviewed the medical record to determine Ms. Eddins'
mental functional limitations (R. 416). Dr. Travis opined
that Ms. Eddins had mild restriction in activities of daily
living ("ADLs"); moderate difficulties in
maintaining social functioning; moderate difficulties in
maintaining concentration, persistence or pace; and no
episodes of decompensation of extended duration (R. 426-27).
On the RFC form Dr. Travis completed, he checked boxes
indicating that Ms. Eddins was markedly limited in ability to
understand, remember and cany out detailed instructions, and
moderately limited in her ability to: (a) maintain attention
and concentration for extended periods, (b) perform
activities within a schedule, (c) maintain regular
attendance, (d) work closely with others, (e) complete a
normal work-day/workweek without interruptions from
psychologically based symptoms, (f) perform at a consistent
pace without an unreasonable number and length of rest
periods, (g) interact appropriately with the general public,
(h) get along with coworkers or peers, and (i) respond
appropriately to changes in the work setting (R. 430-31). Dr.
Travis found that Ms. Eddins was not significantly limited -
or there was no evidence of limitation - in the remaining
Paragraph B areas (Id.). Dr. Travis opined that Ms.
Eddins was able to: "learn simple instructions, "
"function consistently at a reasonable rate within a
schedule, " "relate appropriately, " adapt to
circumstances, " and complete "1-2 step tasks in a
work setting that does not involve routine interaction with
others" (R. 432).
20, 2012 state agency physician Vidya Madala, M.D., reviewed
the medical record to determine Ms. Eddins' physical
functional limitations resulting from fibromyalgia and asthma
(R. 435). Dr. Madala opined that Ms. Eddins should be limited
to light work with an unlimited ability to push or pull, one
postural limitation (occasionally balancing), and some
environmental limitations (R. 435-38). Both Dr. Travis's
and Dr. ...