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Stephanie Johnson v. Michael J. Astrue

March 26, 2012

STEPHANIE JOHNSON, 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 supplemental security income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. For the reasons discussed below, the court grants plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, denies the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment, and remands the case for further proceedings.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed an application for supplemental security income on January 9, 2009, alleging that she had been disabled since May 1, 2008. Administrative Record ("AR") 11. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, and plaintiff requested a hearing. Id. On March 3, 2010, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ")

Mark C. Ramsey. Id. at 24-41. Plaintiff, was represented by attorney Richard G. Grogan at the hearing, at which plaintiff testified. Id.

On May 21, 2010, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled.*fn1 Id. at 11-20. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 9, 2009, the application date (20 CFR 416.971, et seq.).

2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: Celiac disease, chronic fatigue, thyroid disease, obesity, and fibromyalgia (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). ...

5. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a crisis counselor. 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 January 9, 2009, the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.920(f)).

Id. at 13-19.

Plaintiff requested that the Appeals Council review the ALJ's decision. Id. at 6-7. However, on July 28, 2010, the Appeals Council denied review, leaving the ALJ's decision as the "final decision ...


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