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Siegel v. Astrue

July 30, 2009

DEBORAH A. SIEGEL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows U.S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"). For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment or Remand is granted in part, the Commissioner's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment is denied, and this matter is remanded to the ALJ for further findings as directed in this opinion. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment for plaintiff.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born October 13, 1956, applied on December 4, 2003 for disability benefits. (Tr. at 79.) Plaintiff alleged she was unable to work due to headaches, depression, arthritis, back and neck injuries. (Tr. at 53.)

In a decision dated September 26, 2006, ALJ Mark C. Ramsey determined plaintiff was not disabled. The ALJ made the following findings:*fn1

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 31, 2001, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 416.920(b) and 416.971 et seq.).

2. The claimant has the following severe combination of impairments: chronic low back pain, degenerative osteoarthritis of the cervical and lumbar spine and hips, and adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressive features (20 CFR 416.920(c)).

3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).

4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to lift 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently, walk/stand six hours, sit six hours, occasionally perform postural activities reach overhead occasionally (these are supported by her chronic low back pain, degenerative osteoarthritis of the cervical and lumbar spine and hips, coupled with her partially credible pain complaints as discussed below), and mentally perform simple routine tasks (this is supported by her adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressive features).

5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).

6. The claimant was born on October 13, 1956 and was 47 years old on the date the application was filed, which is defined as a younger individual age 45-49 (20 CFR 416.963).

7. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).

8. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 416.968).

9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 416.960(c) and 416.966).

10. The claimant has not been under a "disability," as defined in the Social Security Act, since October 16, 2003 (20 CFR 416.920(g)), ...


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