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Gurbax Kaur v. Carolyn W. Colvin

May 6, 2013

GURBAX KAUR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Allison Claire United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The parties' cross motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons discussed below, the court grants plaintiff's motion and remands the matter for further proceedings.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff protectively filed for SSI on September 5, 2008, alleging disability beginning May 1, 2006. Administrative Record ("AR") 133. Plaintiff's application was initially denied on February 19, 2009, and upon reconsideration on July 28, 2009. AR 71-75, 81-85. On April 20, 2010, a hearing was held before administrative law judge (the "ALJ") Timothy S. Snelling. AR 22-48. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she testified. Id. In a decision dated June 11, 2010, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act.*fn1 AR 11-17. The ALJ made the following findings (citations to 20 C.F.R. omitted):

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 4, 2008, the application date.

2. The claimant has the following medically severe combination of impairments: lumbar radiculopathy affecting the left leg and possible scoliosis, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, and obesity. . . .

3. 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. . . .

4. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a wide range of light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b), but she can only occasionally climb stoop, and crouch and she is limited to no more than frequent reaching in all directions or more than frequent fine fingering and gross handling. . . .

5. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a dishwasher. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity. .

6. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since September 4, 2008, the date the application was filed.

AR 13-17.

Plaintiff requested the Appeals Council review the ALJ's decision. AR 7. However, on June 29, 2011, the Appeals Council denied review, leaving the ALJ's decision as the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security. AR 1-3.

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

The Commissioner's decision that a claimant is not disabled will be upheld if the findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence in the record and the proper legal standards were applied. Schneider v. Comm'r of the Soc. Sec. Admin., 223 F.3d 968, 973 (9th Cir. 2000); Morgan v. Comm'r of the Soc. Sec. Admin., 169 ...


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