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Farias v. Saul

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 19, 2019

IRMA ALICIA FARIAS, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security Defendant.

          ORDER

          EDMUND F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying her applications for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 12 & 18. 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.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In November 2014, plaintiff filed applications for a period of disability, DIB, and SSI. Administrative Record (“AR”) 253-88, 319-27. Her applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 200-05, 208-13. A hearing was subsequently held before administrative law judge (“ALJ”) Trevor Skarda. Id. at 146-59. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she and a vocational expert testified. Id.

         On January 17, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i), 223(d), and 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act.[1] Id. at 98-105. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through September 30, 2016 (Ex. 11 D/1).
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since February 24, 2011, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairment: diabetes mellitus, obesity, and bilateral knee osteoarthritis (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(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, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
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) and 416.967(b) except the claimant can only occasionally climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a store manager. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant’s residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from February 24, 2011, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f) and 416.920(f)).

Id. at 100-05.

         Plaintiff’s request for Appeals Council review was denied on March 8, 2018, leaving the ALJ’s decision as the final ...


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