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Brenda Fiellen v. Michael J. Astrue

March 8, 2011

BRENDA FIELLEN, 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 her application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act. For the reasons discussed below, the court grants plaintiff's motion, denies defendant's motion, and remands the case for further proceedings.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born October 5, 1959, formally applied for DIB on August 19, 2004.

Administrative Record ("AR") 13-14. Plaintiff's application alleged that she had been disabled since March 10, 2003. Id. at 14.Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, and plaintiff requested an administrative hearing. Id. at 13. On January 10, 2007, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Peter F. Belli. Id. at 18.

Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, and testified at the hearing, along with vocational expert Jeffrey Clark. Id. at 13.

The ALJ issued a decision on April 25, 2007, finding that plaintiff was not disabled.*fn1 Id. at 13-18. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the non-disability requirements for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits set forth in Section 216(I) of the Social Security Act and is insured for benefits through the date of this decision.

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset of disability.

3. The claimant's bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome; status-post left carpal tunnel release; right shoulder impingement syndrome; obesity; degenerative disc disease at the L5-S1 level of the lumbar spine; mild osteoarthritis of both hips; and plantar fasciitis are considered "severe" based on the requirements in the Regulations 20 CFR § 404.1520(c).

4. These medically determinable impairments do not meet or medically equal one of the listed impairments in Appendix 1, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4.

5. The undersigned finds claimant's allegations regarding her limitations are not totally credible for the reasons set forth in the body of the decision.

6. The claimant has the following residual functional capacity: .*fn2

7. The claimant's past relevant work as an information system technician specialist II and clerk/library did not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by her residual functional capacity (20 CFR § 404.1565).

8. The claimant's medically determinable bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome; status post-left carpal tunnel release; right shoulder impingement syndrome; obesity; degenerative disc disease at the L5-S1 level of the lumbar spine; mild osteoarthritis of both hips; and plantar ...


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