United States District Court, E.D. California
EDMUND F. BRENNAN, District Judge.
Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II 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, denies defendant's motion, and remands for further proceedings.
Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and DIB on September 6, 2010, alleging that he has been disabled since February 26, 2010. Administrative Record ("AR") 111-112. His application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 61-64, 66-70. On November 9, 2011, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Christopher Inama. Id. at 30-58. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. Id.
On December 2, 2011, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Act. Id. at 17-24. The ALJ made the following specific findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2012 (Ex. 3D/1).
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since February 26, 2010, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
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3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: back pain secondary to muscle strain, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
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4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526).
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5. 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 404.1567(b): lifting twenty pounds occasionally and ten pounds frequently. The claimant is capable of standing, walking, and sitting six hours out of an eight-hour workday, with normal breaks. The claimant is limited to frequently handling, fingering, and feeling with his hands bilaterally. The claimant is limited to occasionally climbing ramps and stairs, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling; however, the claimant is to avoid climbing ladders, ropes, and scaffolds.
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6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work ...