Brown v Astrue, Civil Action No. 09–40211–FDS (D, Mass, Aug. 3, 2011), 2011 WL 3421556 (D.Mass.)

SAYLOR, District Judge

A younger individual with high school education and past relevant work as an exterminator, receptionist, school-bus driver, and a customer-service agent filed a an application for SSDI benefits alleging disability due to depression, serum negative rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and fibromyalgia.  After a hearing an ALJ determined that the applicant retained residual functional capacity to perform her past relevant work as a receptionist or customer-service representative.

District Court Judge held that the ALJ erroneously failed to consider the effects of the Plaintiff's migraine headaches when he calculated her RFC. While the ALJ found her migraines to be severe, he failed to mention them in connection with her RFC at step four.  The court explained that the ALJ did not discuss plaintiff's headaches at all in step four of his analysis within the hearing decision, and therefore it was unclear whether the ALJ actually considered them in determining her RFC. Because, however, they were found to be a severe impairment, they should have been specifically addressed. The court reversed the ALJ's decision and remanded the matter for further proceedings.