The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff, who is proceeding with retained counsel, brings this action for judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Pursuant to the written consent of all parties, this case is before the undersigned as the presiding judge for all purposes, including entry of final judgment. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 16) and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 17). For the reasons discussed below, the court will grant plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or remand and deny the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment.
I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY*fn1
Plaintiff applied for social security benefits protectively on January 15, 2008, alleging an onset of disability on March 13, 2004, due to mental disabilities including bi-polar disorder and PCOS. (Certified administrative record ("CAR") 41-42, 91-95, 103-111). Plaintiff also claims disability based on depression. (CAR 19, 103-111). Plaintiff's claim was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held on September 10, 2009, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Laura Speck Havens. In a December 9, 2009 decision, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff is not disabled*fn2 based on the following findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act at least though December 31, 2009.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged disability onset date of March 13, 2004 (20 CFR 404.1520(b) and 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: a bipolar disorder and depression (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, and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform work at all levels of exertion. From an emotional standpoint, the record establishes that the claimant has a fair ability to relate to co-workers; a fair ability to deal with the public; a fair ability to interact with supervisors; a fair ability to deal with work stress; a good ability to understand, remember, and carry out simple, detailed, and complex job instructions; and a fair ability to demonstrate reliability (Exhibits 4F and 5F).
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a file clerk, security guard, clerk typist, and claims processor. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from March 13, 2004 through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f)).
(CAR 16-22). After the Appeals Council declined review on July 13, 2010, this appeal followed.
The court reviews the Commissioner's final decision to ...