evidence directly contravenes the ALJ's findings, the Appeals Council, without comment, found that it did not provide a basis for overturning the ALJ's decision.
Both sides in this case seek remand. The court, after reviewing the decision of the Commissioner may, under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), affirm, modify, or reverse the Commissioner's decision with or without a remand for a rehearing. Further, the court may simply direct the Commissioner to award benefits. The decision to direct the Commissioner to award benefits should be made only when the administrative record in the case has been fully developed and when substantial evidence on the record as a whole indicates that a claimant is entitled to benefits. When faced with such a case, it is unreasonable for the court to give the ALJ another opportunity to consider new evidence concerning the disability because the administrative proceeding would result only in the receipt of benefits.*fn20
The Commissioner, citing both gaps in the evidentiary record and the ALJ's error in failing to explain why he did not accept the opinions of Mr. Rodriguez's treating sources, requests that this case be remanded for further development of the record. However, a remand is permissible under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) only where there has been a "showing that there is new evidence which is material and that there is good cause for the failure to incorporate such evidence into the record in a prior proceeding."*fn21 The burden rests upon the Commissioner to show good cause for a remand for further proceedings, and none has been shown.*fn22 The complaint that the signature of the doctor performing the residual capacity evaluation is illegible is not a basis for remand. There is no real dispute that the doctor was a treating doctor, and, if the ALJ had doubts, he had a full opportunity to resolve them. Also, there has been no showing that any gaps in the record cited by the Commissioner could not have been filled during the initial proceeding. The ALJ is fully empowered by 42 U.S.C. § 405 to acquire any evidence he thinks is necessary, and he simply chose not to do so. In this case, the administrative record is well developed, and substantial evidence indicates that Mr. Rodriguez was disabled and is entitled to benefits. At this late date, and in the absence of a showing of new evidence satisfying the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the remand requested by the Commissioner is not appropriate.
Accordingly, the motion of the Commissioner is denied, Mr. Rodriguez's motion is granted, and I reverse and remand the case to the Commissioner solely for the purpose of calculating benefits for the closed period from October 21, 1996 to December 22, 1998. The Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment for the plaintiff in accordance with this Order.