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Rhonda Klev v. Michael J. Astrue

August 23, 2012

RHONDA KLEV, 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 applications for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"). For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted in part, the Commissioner's Motion for Summary Judgment is denied, and this matter is remanded to the ALJ for further findings as directed in this opinion. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment for plaintiff.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born October 16, 1965, applied on April 11, 2006 for disability benefits. (Tr. at 176, 182.) In her application, plaintiff alleged she was unable to work since October 24, 2004, due to tendonitis, degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, "pre diabetis," and thyroid problems. (Id. at 176, 198.) In a decision dated December 10, 2009, ALJ Peter F. Belli determined that plaintiff was not disabled. (Id. at 10-21.) The ALJ made the following findings:*fn1

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2010.

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 24, 2004, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).

3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative disc disease, and tendonitis (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(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, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).

5. 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 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except the claimant is limited to only occasional climbing of ladder/rope/scaffolds, stooping, crouching or crawling. Moreover, she should avoid frequent overhead reaching with her left arm.

6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a cashier and packing key maker. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).

7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from October 24, 2004 through the date last of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f) and 416.920(f)).

(Tr. at 12-21.)

ISSUES PRESENTED

Plaintiff has raised the following issues: A. Whether the ALJ Failed to Credit the Opinions of Plaintiff's Treating Physician and the Social Security Consultative Examiner Without Legitimate Reasons; B. Whether the ALJ Failed to Properly Evaluate and Credit Plaintiff's Testimony and Third Party Statements as to the Nature and Extent of Her Functional Limitations; and C. Whether the ALJ Failed to Credit the Testimony of the Vocational ...


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