United States District Court, E.D. California
F. BRENNAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying his
application for a period of disability and 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 for summary judgment is granted, the
Commissioner's motion is denied, and the matter is
remanded for further proceedings.
filed an application for a period of disability and DIB,
alleging that he had been disabled since February 8, 2014.
Administrative Record (“AR”) 138-146.
Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. Id. at 95-99, 101-105. On September
25, 2015, a hearing was held before administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) Evangelina P. Hernandez. Id. at
35-60. Plaintiff was unrepresented at the hearing, at which
he and a vocational expert testified. Id.
September 25, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding that
plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d)
of the Act. Id. at 20-30. The ALJ made the
following specific findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2018.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since February 8, 2014, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
affective disorders; obesity; asthma; diabetes mellitus;
anxiety disorders (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, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) with the following additional limitations:
can occasionally climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; can
frequently climb ramps and stairs; can frequently balance,
stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; must avoid concentrated
exposure to extreme cold, extreme heat, fumes, odors, dust,
gases, and poor ventilation; work is limited to simple, as
defined in the DOT as SVP levels 1 and 2 routine and
repetitive; must work in low stress job as defined as having
only occasional decision making, changes in the work setting,
and interaction with the general public.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on October 4, 1964 and was 49 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date. The claimant subsequently
changed age category to closely approaching advanced age (20
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 claimant can perform (20 CFR 404.1569 and
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from February 8, 2014, through
the date of ...