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Ransom v. Commissioner of Social Security

March 29, 2010

KAREN R. RANSOM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act. For the reasons discussed below, the matter is remanded for further findings addressing the deficiencies discussed below.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born August 1, 1950, applied for DIB on March 31, 2006. Administrative Record ("AR") 12, 17. Plaintiff's application alleged that she had been disabled since September 21, 2005. Id. at 12. Plaintiff's application was denied on June 1, 2006, and again upon reconsideration on December 22, 2006. Id. On November 13, 2007, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Daniel G. Heeley. Id. Plaintiff, who was represented by a non-attorney representative testified at the hearing, along with vocational expert George A. Meyers. Id.

The ALJ issued a decision on February 25, 2008, finding that plaintiff was not disabled.*fn1

Id. at 12-18. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2007.

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 21, 2005, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1520(b) and 404.1571 et seq.).

3. The claimant has the following severe impairment: Meniere's disease (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).

4. 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 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).

***

5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following non-exertional limitations: can occasionally climb stairs/ ladders and cannot work at heights or around moving machinery.

*** 6. The claimant is able to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).

*** 7. The claimant was born on August 1, 1950 and was 55 years old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563).

8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).

9. The claimant has acquired work skills from past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1568).

***

10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, the claimant has acquired work skills from past relevant work that are transferable to other occupations with jobs existing in significant numbers in ...


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