Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Melendez v. Astrue

March 30, 2010

IRENE BARBARA MELENDEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Mcdermott United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REVERSING DECISION OF COMMISSIONER AND REMANDING FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

PROCEEDINGS

On December 12, 2008, Irene Barbara Melendez ("Plaintiff or Claimant") filed a complaint seeking review of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying plaintiff's application for Disability Insurance benefits. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), both parties filed consents to proceed before this Magistrate Judge. On September 14, 2009, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation ("JS"). The matter is now ready for decision.

After reviewing the pleadings, transcripts, and administrative record ("AR"), the Court concludes that the Commissioner's decision should be reversed and remanded for further proceedings in accordance with law and with this Memorandum Opinion and Order.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff applied for Disability Insurance benefits on October 6, 2005, alleging that she has been unable to work due to a herniated disc and fibromyalgia, among other things.*fn1 (AR 86.) Plaintiff alleges an onset date of December 16, 2003. (AR 509.)

Plaintiff's claims were denied initially by the Social Security Administration ("SSA") on December 30, 2005, and on reconsideration on March 16, 2006. (AR 46-50, 59.) Claimant filed a timely request for hearing, which was held on March 20, 2008, in San Bernardino, California, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Mason Harrell, Jr. (AR 505-523.) Plaintiff testified at the hearing and was represented by counsel. (AR 507.)

An unfavorable decision written by ALJ F. Keith Varni was issued on April 11, 2008. (AR 15-22.) The ALJ concluded that Claimant has not been under a disability within the meaning of the Social Security Act from December 16, 2003, through the date of the decision. (AR 15.) The ALJ determined that the Claimant suffers from "a severe impairment in the musculoskeletal system from degenerative changes in the spine." (AR 17.) However, the ALJ found that Claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b). (AR 19.) In particular, the ALJ found that Claimant is capable of performing her past relevant work as a billing administrator. (AR 22.)

Plaintiff timely filed a request for review of the ALJ's unfavorable decision, which was denied by the Appeals Council on October 23, 2008 (JS 2, AR 507), making the ALJ's written decision the final decision of the Commissioner.

Plaintiff then instituted this action.

DISPUTED ISSUES

As reflected in the Joint Stipulation, the disputed issues that Plaintiff is raising as grounds for reversal and remand are as follows:

1. Whether the finding that Plaintiff can perform the full range of exertionally light work is based on an adequate consideration of her fibromyalgia?

2. Whether the ALJ erred in rejecting the residual functional capacity assessment of treating internist Dr. Salwan and in ostensibly granting controlling weight to that of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.