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Beach v. Astrue

December 15, 2008

DAWN J. BEACH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Frederick F. Mumm United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

Plaintiff brings this action seeking to overturn the decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying her application for supplemental security income benefits.*fn1 On December 12, 2006 and December 16, 2006, plaintiff and defendant, respectively, consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pursuant to the November 30, 2005 case management order, on June 8, 2006, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation detailing each party's arguments and authorities. The Court has reviewed the administrative record ("AR"), filed by defendant on June 9, 2006, and the Joint Stipulation (the "JS"). For the reasons stated below, the decision of the Commissioner is reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On November 25, 2002, plaintiff filed an application for supplemental security income. (AR 62.) Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff filed a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge ("ALJ") on August 27, 2003. (AR 35.) ALJ F. Keith Varni held a hearing on July 29, 2004. (AR 371.) On September 22, 2004, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits. (AR 21-24.) Plaintiff sought review of the decision before the Social Security Administration Appeals Council. (AR 48.) The Council granted review and remanded the case back to the ALJ on November 12, 2004. (AR 50.)

The ALJ held another hearing on May 18, 2005. (AR 392-400.) Another unfavorable decision issued on September 10, 2005. (AR 10-13.) Plaintiff unsuccessfully sought review of the decision (AR 3-5) and then commenced the instant action on November 22, 2005.

CONTENTIONS

Plaintiff raises six issues in this action:

1. Whether the ALJ properly considered the psychiatric evaluation performed by the treating psychiatrist.

2. Whether the ALJ properly discussed the Plaintiff's medications and dosages of medications, as required.

3. Whether the ALJ appropriately considered the severe dysfunction rating determined by the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health therapist.

4. Whether the ALJ made proper credibility findings.

6. Whether the ALJ misrepresented the results of a mental status evaluation.

7. Whether the ALJ posed a complete hypothetical question to the ...


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