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Blackwell v. Commissioner of Social Security

March 31, 2010

SIMONE L. BLACKWELL, 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 Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. For the reasons discussed below, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and/or remand is granted, and the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment is denied. The matter is remanded for further proceedings as directed in this opinion.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff applied for SSI on September 27, 2005. Administrative Record ("AR") 15.

Plaintiff's application alleged that she had been disabled since January 1, 2004. Id. Plaintiff's application was denied on December 16, 2005, and again upon reconsideration on April 11, 2006. Id. On July 25, 2007, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Stanley R. Hogg. Id. Plaintiff, who was represented by attorney Jonathan A. Hendricks, testified at the hearing. Id.

The ALJ issued a decision on October 19, 2007, finding that plaintiff was not disabled.*fn1

Id. at 15-27. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 27, 2005, the application date (20 CFR 416.920(b) and 416.971 et seq.)...

2. The claimant has the following severe impairment: Status post abdominal surgeries (including temporary colostomy) with complaints of constant chronic pain, and obesity (20 CFR 416.920(c)).

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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).

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4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light unskilled work. Mentally, the claimant is able to perform unskilled work tasks not requiring good reading and writing skills. She is able to respond appropriately to supervisors, co-workers, and the public. She is able to adapt to changes in a work routine...

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5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).

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6. The claimant was born on February 29, 1964 and was 41 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on the date that the SSI ...


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