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Sullivan v. Astrue

September 22, 2010

MAYA SULLIVAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying applications for Disability Income Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"), respectively. For the reasons discussed below, the court grants plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or remand, denies the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment, and remands the case for further proceedings.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed an application for benefits on November 9, 2005. Administrative Record ("AR") 15. Her application was denied initially and on reconsideration. Id. A hearing was held on February 25, 2008 before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") David R. Mazzi. Id. Plaintiff, who was represented by non-attorney Debbie Leigh-Mango, testified as did Stephen P. Davis, a vocational expert. Id. at 12. In a decision dated September 30, 2008, the ALJ determined plaintiff was not disabled.*fn1 Id.

The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant filed applications on December 6, 2005, with a protective filing date of November 9, 2005, for disability benefits under Title II and Title XVI of the Act.

2. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act as of her alleged onset date of disability of July 12, 2004 and remains insured for Title II disability benefit purposes through December 31, 2009.

3. There is no indication that the claimant has engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 12, 2009, the alleged onset date of disability (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(b), 404.1571, et seq., 416.920(b) and 416.971, et seq.).

4. The medical evidence establishes that the claimant has the following severe impairments: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, asthma and depression (20 C.F.R. 404.520(c) and 416.920(c)).

5. The medically established disorders are not attended by clinical and laboratory findings that meet or equal any listed impairment of 20 C.F.R., Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 for any twelve-month period (20 C.F.R. 404.1520d) and 20 C.F.R. 416.920(d)).

6. The claimant retains the residual functional capacity to perform unskilled light work, as defined at 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(b), 416.967(b). . . .

7. The claimant is unable to perform her past relevant work (20 C.F.R. 404.1565 and 416.965). . . .

8. The claimant is 33 years of age or a younger individual (20 C.F.R. 404.1563 and 416.963).

9. The claimant has more than a high school education. She is able to communicate in English (20 C.F.R. 404.1564 and 416.964).

10. In light of her age, the claimant is not expected to encounter difficulty adjusting to other work (20 C.F.R. 404.1563 and 20 C.F.R. 416.963). Therefore, there is ...


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