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Amarjit Singh v. Carolyn W. Colvin

March 15, 2013

AMARJIT SINGH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



ORDER

This social security action was submitted to the court without oral argument for ruling on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, plaintiff's motion is granted, defendant's cross-motion is denied, the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner) is reversed, and the matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this order.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On January 28, 2009, plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) under Title II of the Social Security Act (the Act) and for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Act, alleging disability beginning on September 30, 2008. (Transcript (Tr.) at 129-36.) Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Id. at 59-63, 66-70.) A hearing was held before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on May 20, 2010. (Id. at 29-51.) Plaintiff was represented by counsel and testified at the administrative hearing. In a decision issued on July 19, 2010, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not disabled. (Id. at 24.) The ALJ entered the following findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2013.

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 30, 2008, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).

3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease of the cervical and lumbar spine and early degenerative changes of the left knee (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 he can lift 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; and stand/walk four hours out of an eight-hour work day, sit six hours in a work day; occasionally climb, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl; and frequently balance. The claimant must avoid concentrated exposure to vibration.

6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).

7. The claimant was born on September 10, 1960 and was 48 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).

8. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).

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 (See SSR 82-41 and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).

10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 404.1569, 404.1569(a), 416.969, and 416.969(a)).

11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from September 30, 2008, through the date of this decision (20 CFR ...


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