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Dubord v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 5, 2018

TRACY J. DUBORD, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          CRAIG M. KELLISON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, who is proceeding with retained counsel, brings this action for judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 11) and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 13).

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY[1]

         Plaintiff applied for social security benefits protectively on December 7, 2012, alleging an onset of disability on June 1, 2011, due to bipolar disorder, anxiety/panic disorder, PTSD, chronic fatigue syndrome, GERD, irritable bowel syndrome, other disorders of gastrointestinal system, and affective (mood) disorder (Certified administrative record (“CAR”) 83, 96-97, 105, 198). Plaintiff's claim was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held via video on August 28, 2014, before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Carol A. Eckersen. In a November 21, 2014, decision, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff is not disabled[2] based on the following findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through June 30, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 1, 2011, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.)
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, panic disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. (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 ALJ] find[s] that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) with the following limitations: occasional climbing of ladders, ropes or scaffolds; occasional stooping and crouching; occasional fingering and handling; simple, routine and repetitive work; and only occasional face-to-face interaction with the general public and coworkers.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant born on June 11, 1963 and was 47 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 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 (SSR 82-41 and 20 CFR Park 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 202.1569 and 414.1569(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from June 1, 2011, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g)).

(CAR 12-27). After the Appeals Council declined review on April 28, 2016, ...


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