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Newton v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 12, 2015

MISSY NEWTON, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

EDMUND F. BRENNAN, Magistrate Judge.

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.[1] The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons discussed below, it is recommended that plaintiff's motion be granted and defendant's motion be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed an application for SSI on December 6, 2010, alleging that she had been disabled since February 1, 2001. Administrative Record ("AR") 82, 162-163. Her application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 97-100, 104-108. On July 30, 2012, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Peter Belli. Id. at 28-64. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. Id.

On August 28, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act.[2] Id. at 11-23. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since December 6, 2010, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq. ).
2. The claimant has the following severe im pairments: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mood disorder, dysthymia, and polysubstance dependence in remission (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
* * *
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 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
* * *
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following nonexertion limitations: able to receive, understand, remember, and carry out simple job instructions; able to occasionally receive, understand, remember, and carry out detailed job instructions; can frequently interact appropriately with coworkers and supervisors; limited to occasional exposure and ability to interact with the general public; able to adjust to regular changes in the workplace, and able to make workplace adjustments.
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5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (PRW) (20 CFR 416.965).
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6. The claimant was born on January 16, 1976 and was 34 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the date the ...

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