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Sexton v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 30, 2014

ADELE SEXTON, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER

EDMUND F. BRENNAN, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her application for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act. The parties' have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed below, plaintiff's motion is granted, defendant's motion is denied and the matter is remanded for further proceedings.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and DIB on June 19, 2008, alleging that she had been disabled since December 1, 2006. Administrative Record ("AR") 217-221. Plaintiff's application was initially denied on November 4, 2018, and upon reconsideration on January 26, 2009. Id. at 141, 143-146. On September 10, 2009, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Walter Orr. Id. at 52-78. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she and a Vocational Expert ("VE") testified. Id.

On January 26, 2010, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Act.[1] Id. at 113-123. On March 4, 2010, plaintiff sought review of the ALJ's decision from the Appeals Council. Id. at 178-179. The Appeals Council granted plaintiff's request, vacated the ALJ's decision, and remanded the matter for further consideration. Id. at 131-132.

A second hearing was held before the ALJ on October 14, 2012. Id. at 79-107. Plaintiff was again represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she, a VE, and a medical expert testified. Id. at 79-80. On April 5, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision, again finding that plaintiff was not disabled under section 216(i) and 223(d) of the Act. Id. at 25-43. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through September 30, 2013.
* * *
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since December 1, 2006, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
* * *
3. The claimant has the following serve impairments: carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and organic mental disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
* * *
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 and 404.1526).
* * *
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to lift, carry, push and pull 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently, as well as sit, stand and/or walk 6 hours each out of an 8-hour workday. The claimant's ability to perform the full range of medium work as defined in 20 C.F.R ยง 404.1567(c) is reduced by inability to handle, finger and feel on more than a frequent basis with the upper extremities. The claimant requires work that does not ...

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