United States District Court, E.D. California
EDMUND F. BRENNAN, Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's motion is granted, defendant's motion is denied, and the matter is remanded for further consideration.
Plaintiff filed an application for SSI on August 20, 2010, alleging that he had been disabled since November 6, 1999. Administrative Record ("AR") 136-154. His application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 59-63, 65-71. On August 7, 2012, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Daniel G. Heely. Id. at 31-54. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which he and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. Id.
On September 12, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act. Id. at 10-19. The ALJ made the following specific findings:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 20, 2010, the application date (20 CFR 416. 971 et seq. ).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: status post valve replacement; obesity; and depression (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
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3. 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 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
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4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform less than the full range of light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b). He can sit, stand, and/or walk 6 hours in an 8-hour work day with regular breaks. He can lift and/or carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds. He can occasionally climb ramps or stairs but must never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. He can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. He must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold, heat, excessive vibrations or work around hazards (dangerous machinery and unprotected heights). He has simple English reading and writing abilities, nothing complex, technical or scientific and he limited to simple, routine tasks with only occasional public contact.
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5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).
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6. The claimant was born on November 5, 1970 and was 39 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.963).
7. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in this case because the claimant's past relevant work is unskilled (See SSR 82-41 and 20 ...