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Foster v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 30, 2014

HAROLD ARTHUR FOSTER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER

DALE A. DROZD, Magistrate Judge.

This social security action was submitted to the court without oral argument for ruling on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, plaintiff's motion is granted, defendant's cross-motion is denied, the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") is reversed, and the matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this order.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On May 10, 2010, plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act ("the Act"), alleging disability beginning on April 29, 2009. (Transcript ("Tr.") at 18, 157.) Plaintiff's application was denied initially, (id. at 64-67), and upon reconsideration. (Id. at 73-76.) Plaintiff requested a hearing and a hearing was held before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") on January 3, 2012. (Id. at 33-55.) Plaintiff was represented by an attorney and testified at the administrative hearing. (Id. at 33-34.) In a decision issued on January 30, 2012, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not disabled. (Id. at 27.) The ALJ entered the following findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2014.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 29, 2009, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: status post bilateral corneal transplants and depression (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. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b). However, the claimant should avoid climbing ladders, ropes, and scaffolds but can perform all other postural activities frequently. He can perform work not requiring depth perception or fine acuity. The claimant should avoid hazards and exposure to concentrated noise. He can perform simple repetitive tasks.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on April 28, 1959 and was 50 years old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because using the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant is "not disabled" whether or not the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41 and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the ...

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