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Racheal Granados v. Michael J. Astrue

January 12, 2011

RACHEAL GRANADOS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

This social security action was submitted to the court without oral argument for ruling on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or remand and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, the court recommends plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or remand be granted, the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment be denied, and the case be remanded under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for further proceedings.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On October 17, 2006, plaintiff filed an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act (the Act), alleging disability beginning on October 14, 2006. (Transcript (Tr.) at 96-102, 108).) The application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Tr. at 68-76.) A hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Michael J. Seng on October 1, 2008. (Tr. at 18-64.) Plaintiff was represented by counsel and testified at the hearing. (Tr. at 20-62.) In a decision dated January 27, 2009, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not entitled to SSI benefits. (Tr. at 9-17.) The ALJ entered the following findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 17, 2006, her application date.

2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: bilateral patellofemoral joint arthritis/residuals of prior knee surgeries, degenerative changes of the lumbar spine, and obesity (20 CFR 416.921 et seq.).

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 416.925 and 416.926).

4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(a) except that she should avoid climbing ladders/ropes/scaffolds and concentrated exposure to heights and moving machinery.

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

6. The claimant was born on April 10, 1973 and was 33 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.963).

7. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).

8. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because reference to the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant is "not disabled," whether or not she has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41 and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2). 9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 416.969 and 416.969a).

10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since October 17, 2006, the date the application was filed(20 CFR 416.920(g)). (Tr. at 11-17.)

On July 17, 2009, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's decision. (Tr. at 1-3.) Plaintiff sought judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g) by ...


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