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Teodita V. Tacas v. Michael J. Astrue

March 31, 2011

TEODITA V. TACAS, 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 defendant's motion in part and grants plaintiff's motion in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born May 6, 1959, applied for DIB on August 2, 2006. Administrative Record ("AR") 74-76. Her application alleged that she had been disabled since August 31, 2005. Id. at 74. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, and plaintiff requested an administrative hearing. Id. at 8. On May 29,2008, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Laura Speck Havens. Id. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, and testified at the hearing, along with vocational expert Stephen B. Schmidt. Id. Also present at the hearing were Mr. Bomatia, an interpreter, and Nellie Remley, a hearing assistant. Id. at 22.

The ALJ issued a decision on September 29, 2008, finding that plaintiff was not disabled.*fn1 Id. at 8-18. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2010.

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 31, 2005, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1520(b) and 404.1571 et seq.).

3. The claimant has the following severe impairment: degenerative disc disease (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).

4. 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 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526).

5. 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 404.1567(b), with an ability to sit, stand or walk up to 6 hours each in an 8 hour workday and with a limitation to occasional bending or stooping.

6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).

7. The claimant was born on May 6, 1959 and was 46 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563).

8. The claimant has a marginal education and is apparently unable to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).

9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in this case because the claimant's past relevant work is unskilled (20 CFR 404.1568).

10. 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 404.1560(c) and 404.1566).

11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from August 31, 2005 through the date of ...


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