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Nadejda N. Stefoglo v. Michael J. Astrue

December 12, 2011

NADEJDA N. STEFOGLO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"). For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted in part and denied in part, the Commissioner's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment is denied in part and granted in part, the Clerk is directed to enter judgment for the plaintiff, and this matter is remanded to the Commissioner for further development of the record.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born July 25, 1956, applied on February 22, 2008 for disability benefits. (Tr. at 99.) Plaintiff alleged she was unable to work due to osteoarthritis and allied disorders, disorders of the nervous system, and affective mood disorder. (Tr. at 53, 54.) In a decision dated January 21, 2010, ALJ Mark C. Ramsey determined that plaintiff was not disabled. (Id. at 9-22.) The ALJ made the following findings:*fn1

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since February 22, 2008, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.).

2. The claimant has the following impairments which, in combination, constitute a severe impairment: mild degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, probable osteoarthritis of the knees, possible history of mild bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, mild right elbow cubital tunnel syndrome, mild mitral valve regurgitation, mild antroseptal stiffness, mild degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine, cervicogenic headaches, right shoulder degenerative joint disease, fibromyalgia, mild obesity, and depression/adjustment disorder (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 the full range of medium work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(c) except that she is limited to no more than frequent manipulation with the upper extremities, and no more than occasional balancing, climbing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, squatting, or crawling. She can perform simple and detailed, but not complex mental tasks.

5. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a housekeeper, an in-home health service worker, cleaner/cook at Taco Bell, and babysitter. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 416.965).

6. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since February 22, 2008, the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.920(f)).

(Tr. at 11-21.)

ISSUES PRESENTED

Plaintiff has raised the following issues: A. Whether the ALJ's Decision "Cherry-picked Functional Capacity in a Vacuum, Divorced From the Impairments and Record;" and B. Whether the ALJ ...


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