The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Jacqueline Chooljian United States Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF REMAND
On April 29, 2011, plaintiff Behzad Neydavoud ("plaintiff") filed a Complaint seeking review of the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of plaintiff's application for benefits. The parties have consented to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge.
This matter is before the Court on the parties' cross motions for summary judgment, respectively ("Plaintiff's Motion") and ("Defendant's Motion"). The *fn1 Court has taken both motions under submission without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15; May 3, 2011 Case Management Order ¶ 5.
Based on the record as a whole and the applicable law, the decision of the Commissioner is REVERSED AND REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this Memorandum Opinion and Order of Remand.
II. BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION
On February 27, 2009, plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits. (Administrative Record ("AR") 42, 106). Plaintiff asserted that he became disabled on July 15, 2008, due to lower back pain, and pain in his hands and right leg. (AR 116). The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") examined the medical record and heard testimony from plaintiff (who was represented by counsel) and a vocational expert on May 3, 2010. (AR 1-29).
On June 23, 2010, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled through the date of the decision. (AR 42-49). Specifically, the ALJ found:
(1) plaintiff suffered from the following severe impairment: degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine (AR 44); (2) plaintiff's impairments, considered singly or in combination, did not meet or medically equal one of the listed impairments (AR 45); (3) plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity essentially to perform sedentary work (20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a)) with certain additional restrictions (AR 45); (4) plaintiff could perform his past relevant work as a *fn2 production coordinator (AR 49); and (5) plaintiff's allegations regarding his limitations were not credible to the extent they were inconsistent with the ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment. (AR 46).
The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's application for review. (AR 30).
III. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS
A. Sequential Evaluation Process
To qualify for disability benefits, a claimant must show that the claimant is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least twelve months. Burch v. Barnhart, 400 F.3d 676, 679 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A)). The impairment must render the claimant incapable of performing the work claimant previously performed and incapable of performing any other substantial ...