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Peggins v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 29, 2014

ANNE L. PEGGINS, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

CRAIG M. KELLISON, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, who is proceeding with retained counsel, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security. Pursuant to the written consent of all parties, this case is before the undersigned as the presiding judge for all purposes, including entry of final judgment. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 15) and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 21).

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff applied for social security benefits on March 1, 2010. In the application, plaintiff claims that disability began on August 1, 2009. Plaintiff's claim was initially denied. Following denial of reconsideration, plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held on August 4, 2011, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Sara A. Gillis. In a September 2, 2011, decision, the ALJ made the following relevant findings:

1. The claimant has the following severe impairment(s) since the alleged onset date of August 1, 2009: cervical disc disease; obesity; lumbar degenerative disc disease with history of back surgery; and degenerative joint disease of the knees;
2. The claimant has the following severe impairment(s) since the established onset date of June 12, 2010: cervical disc disease; obesity; lumbar degenerative disc disease with history of back surgery; degenerative joint disease of the knees; and bipolar disorder;
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals an impairment listed in the regulations;
4. The claimant has the following residual functional capacity prior to June 12, 2010: light work except she can lift/carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently, can stand/walk two of eight hours, sit six of eight hours, and occasionally climb ramps and stairs or stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl;
5. Beginning on June 12, 2010, the claimant became unable to perform even simple, repetitive work due to reduced cognition;
6. Prior to June 12, 2010, the claimant was capable of performing her past relevant work as an administrative assistant, office manager, supervisor, secretary, and customer service representative;
7. Beginning on June 12, 2010, the claimant's residual functional capacity precludes her past relevant work; and
8. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, residual functional capacity beginning on June 12, 2010, and vocational expert testimony, there are no jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform.

After the Appeals Council declined review on September 28, 2012, this appeal followed challenging the determination that plaintiff was ...


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