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Garcia v. Astrue

June 3, 2009

ANTONIO GARCIA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR B. Kenton United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

(Social Security Case)

This matter is before the Court for review of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security denying Plaintiff's application for disability benefits. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(c), the parties have consented that the case may be handled by the Magistrate Judge. The action arises under 42 U.S.C. §405(g), which authorizes the Court to enter judgment upon the pleadings and transcript of the Administrative Record ("AR") before the Commissioner. The parties have filed the Joint Stipulation ("JS"), and the Commissioner has filed the certified AR.

Plaintiff raises the following issues:

1. Whether the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") provided legally sufficient reasons for rejecting Mr. Garcia's testimony;

2. Whether the ALJ erred in failing to consider and evaluate the medical opinion of Dr. Anh Tat Hoang;

3. Whether the ALJ provided legally sufficient reasons for rejecting Dr. Daniel K. Chau's opinion;

4. Whether it was erroneous for the ALJ to ignore restrictions offered by Dr. Agustus Conduah; and

5. Whether the ALJ erred when she substituted her own opinion for that of a competent medical opinion.

(JS at pp. 3-26.)

This Memorandum Opinion will constitute the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. After reviewing the matter, the Court concludes that for the reasons set forth, the decision of the Commissioner must be reversed.

ANALYSIS

I. THE ALJ'S CREDIBILITY ASSESSMENT OF PLAINTIFF'S PAIN COMPLAINTS IS NOT SUPPORTED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING REASONS

In her decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective pain complaints, and found that while his medically determinable impairments could reasonably be expected to produce the alleged symptoms, Plaintiff's statements concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of these symptoms are not credible to the extent they are inconsistent with ...


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