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Martin Varela v. Carolyn W. Colvin

March 20, 2013

MARTIN VARELA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,*FN1 ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF REMAND

I. SUMMARY

On October 4, 2012, plaintiff Martin Varela ("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; October 9, 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 July 10, 2009, plaintiff filed applications for Supplemental Security

Income and Disability Insurance Benefits. (Administrative Record ("AR") 118, 125). Plaintiff asserted that he became disabled on July 1, 2008, due to seizures, mental impairment, inability to "stand long," and "bad feet." (AR 139). The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") examined the medical record and heard testimony from plaintiff (who was represented by counsel), a medical expert and a vocational expert on April 27, 2011. (AR 24-43).

On May 26, 2011, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled through the date of the decision. (AR 11-19). Specifically, the ALJ found:

(1) plaintiff suffered from the following severe impairments: lumbar strain and seizure disorder (AR 13); (2) plaintiff's impairments, considered singly or in combination, did not meet or medically equal a listed impairment (AR 13-14);

(3) plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of medium work (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(c), 416.967(c)) with additional non-exertional limitations (AR 14); (4) plaintiff could perform his past relevant work*fn2 as a laborer (AR 18); and (5) plaintiff's allegations regarding his limitations were not credible to the extent they were inconsistent with the ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment (AR 15).

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

III. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Sequential Evaluation ...


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