Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. For the reasons discussed below, the court grants plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denies defendant's motion for summary judgment, and remands the case for further proceedings.
Plaintiff, born May 3, 1961, formally applied for SSI on June 28, 2004. Administrative Record ("AR") at 65. Plaintiff alleged that she had been disabled since June 1, 2000. Id. at 65.Her application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, and plaintiff requested an administrative hearing. Id. at 45-55. On December 10, 2007, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") James M. Mitchell. Id. at 576-612. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, and testified at the hearing, along with vocational expert David Dettmer. Id.
The ALJ issued a decision on March 26, 2008, finding that plaintiff was not disabled.*fn1
Id. at 14-25. The ALJ made the following specific findings:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 28, 2004, the application date (20 CFR 416.920(b) and 416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: back impairment, right shoulder and thumb impairment, peripheral neuropathy and obesity (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
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).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) as follows: lift/push/pull 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; frequently walk/stand; occasionally sit/stoop/bend; slightly limited attention/concentration and understanding/memory; hearing is diminished but correctable; reaching overhead and to the front with the right, non-dominant hand is moderately limited (less than 3 hours per shift); gross manipulation is moderately limited on the right, non-dominant side; slightly limited ability to do simple routine repetitive tasks (pace and persistence); limitations due to asthma, requiring medications three times a day or less; requires only occasional supervision; and has slight-moderate pain requiring only occasional medication.
5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965). 6. The claimant was born on May 3, 1961 and was 43 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, 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 an issue because the claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 416.968).
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 416.960(c) and 416.966).
10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since June 28, 2004, the date the ...