United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER VACATING ALJ'S DECISION AND REMANDING FOR
A. HOUSTON United States District Judge.
Steven Wayne Norwood (“Plaintiff”), through
counsel, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 405(g) of
the Social Security Act (“the Act'), to obtain
judicial review of a “final decision” of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“Defendant”) denying Plaintiff's claim for
Disability Insurance Benefits under the Act. (See
Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment
and Defendant filed a cross-motion for summary judgment and
opposition to Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.
(See Docs. No. 14, 15). After a thorough review of
the pleadings and exhibits filed by the parties along with
the entire record submitted in this matter, and for the
reasons set forth below, the ALJ's decision is REVERSED,
and this case is REMANDED for further proceedings consistent
with this opinion.
who was born on February 1, 1959, is currently 58 years of
age. AR at 93. Plaintiff has past relevant
work experience as an electronics tester. AR at 60, 225.
Plaintiff alleges that he has been disabled since January 1,
2005, and suffers from cervical and lumbar spine degenerative
disc disease, left elbow neuropathy, right shoulder joint
derangement, anxiety disorder, and alcohol abuse. AR at 55.
12, 2012, Plaintiff protectively filed a Title II application
for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits.
AR at 53. On the same day, Plaintiff also filed a Title XVI
application for supplemental security income. Id.
Both applications allege a disability onset of January 1,
Defendant initially denied Plaintiff's claims on December
15, 2012 and again on April 5, 2013. Id. On May 23,
2013 the Plaintiff filed a written request for a hearing in
front of a United States Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”). Id. On July 10, 2014, with his
attorney present, the Plaintiff appeared and testified at the
hearing. AR at 68. John P. Kilcher, a vocational expert, also
appeared at the hearing. Id. The ALJ denied benefits
in a written decision dated August 4, 2014. AR at 50, 61.
filed a request for review of the hearing decision before the
appeals council on October 6, 2014. AR at 49. On January 20,
2015, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review. AR at 34-38.
filed the instant complaint on March 24, 2015. (See
Doc. No. 1). Defendant filed an answer on August 7, 2015.
(See Doc. No. 11). On October 8, 2015, Plaintiff
filed a motion for summary judgment seeking reversal or
remand of the Defendant's administrative decision.
(See Doc. No. 14). Defendant filed a cross-motion
for summary judgment and opposition to Plaintiff's motion
on November 6, 2015. (See Doc. No. 15).
Qualification for Disability Benefits
qualify for disability benefits under the Act, an applicant
must show that: (1) she suffers from a medically determinable
impairment that can be expected to result in death or that
has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period
of not less than twelve months; and (2) the impairment
renders the applicant incapable of performing the work that
she previously performed or any other substantially gainful
employment that exists in the national ...