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Villa v. Astrue

December 16, 2009

ROSE VILLA, 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") erred in weighing the assessments of treating, examining and non-examining physicians and erred in determining Plaintiff's residual functional capacity ("RFC");

2. Whether the ALJ properly considered the effect of Plaintiff's diabetes on her RFC; and

3. Whether the ALJ properly summarized and weighed Plaintiff's testimony and made proper credibility findings.

(JS at 3.)

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.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Standard of Review

The Commissioner's denial of benefits to Plaintiff is reviewed by this Court on a substantial evidence basis; that is, the denial of benefits is reversed if it is not supported by substantial evidence or if it is based on the application of incorrect legal standards. Osenbrock v. Apfel, 240 F.3d 1157, 1162 (9th Cir. 2001); Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1097 (9th Cir. 1999).

B. Statement of the Case

Plaintiff suffered an industrial injury on April 6, 2005 (AR 207). She was employed as a warehouse stocker from 1999 to May 2005. She last ...


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