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Susanne Bean v. Michael J. Astrue

December 21, 2012

SUSANNE BEAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Jacqueline Chooljian United States Magistrate Judge

I. SUMMARY

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF REMAND

On May 30, 2012, plaintiff Susanne Bean ("plaintiff") filed a Complaint seeking review of the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of plaintiff's application for benefits. The parties have consented to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the parties' cross motions for summary judgment, respectively ("Plaintiff's Motion") and ("Defendant's Motion"). The Court has taken both motions under submission without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15; June 1, 2012 Case Management Order ¶ 5.

Based on the record as a whole and the applicable law, the decision of the Commissioner is REVERSED AND REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this Memorandum Opinion and Order of Remand.

II. BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION On December 12, 2008, plaintiff filed an application for Supplemental

Security Income benefits. (Administrative Record ("AR") 126). Plaintiff asserted that she became disabled on February 1, 1994, due to lumbar disc disease, a panic disorder, hearing loss, fatigue syndrome, depression, headaches and diabetes. (AR 143). The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") examined the medical record and heard testimony from plaintiff (who was represented by counsel) and a vocational expert on July 14, 2010. (AR 22-45).

On December 21, 2010, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled through the date of the decision. (AR 10-17). Specifically, the ALJ found:

(1) plaintiff suffered from the following severe impairments: chronic fatigue syndrome by history, diabetes, and lumbar sprain/strain (AR 12); (2) plaintiff's impairments, considered singly or in combination, did not meet or medically equal a listed impairment (AR 12); (3) plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of light work (20 C.F.R. § 416.967(b)) (AR 12);

(4) plaintiff could perform her past relevant work as a caterer/helper (AR 16);

(5) alternatively, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that plaintiff could perform (AR 16-17); and (6) plaintiff's allegations regarding her limitations were not credible to the extent they were inconsistent with the ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment (AR 14).

The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's application for review. (AR 1).

III. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Sequential Evaluation ...


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