This social security action was submitted to the court without oral argument for ruling on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or remand and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, the court will grant plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or remand, deny the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment, and remand the case under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for further proceedings.
On September 27, 2007, plaintiff filed applications for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (the Act), alleging disability beginning on April 20, 2007. (Transcript (Tr.) at 101-113.) The application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Tr. at 64-65.) A hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Michael J. Seng on July 15, 2009. (Tr. at 19-49.) Plaintiff was represented by counsel and testified at the hearing. In a decision dated October 16, 2009, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not disabled. (Tr. at 10-18.) The ALJ entered the following findings (citations to CFR omitted):
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2011.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 20, 2007, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant suffers from bipolar disorder and degenerative disc disease of the left knee, severe impairments within the meaning of the regulations.
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.
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform unskilled, sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a).
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was born on January 3, 1968 and was 39 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on the alleged disability onset date.
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English.
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because using the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant is "not disabled," whether or not the claimant has transferable job skills.
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there were jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform.
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from April 20, 2007 through the ...