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Wascovich v. Saul

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 19, 2019

LISA WASCOVICH, 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 application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment are pending. ECF Nos. 13 & 14. For the reasons discussed below, the Commissioner’s cross-motion is denied and plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is granted. The matter is remanded to the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) for additional administrative proceedings.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed an application for SSI, alleging that she had been disabled since April 1, 2012. Administrative Record (“AR”) 319. Plaintiff’s application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 223-26, 234-39. On June 29, 2016, a hearing was held before ALJ Plauche Villere, Jr. Id. at 170-191.

         On December 8, 2016, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act.[1] Id. at 19-31. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 10, 2013, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe combination of impairments: degenerative disc disease of the lumbar and cervical spine; joint pain; neuropathy of the feet; asthma with tobacco use disorder; obesity; anxiety; depression (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
* * *
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 to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) in that she can lift and carry, push and pull twenty pounds occasionally and ten pounds frequently. She can sit for six hours of an eight hour day and stand and walk for six hours of an eight hour day. Except, she must avoid concentrated exposure to fumes, odors, dust, gases, poor ventilation, etc.’ she can only perform simple routine repetitive tasks with only occasional contact with others, including only non-interactional contact with the public.
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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 August 24, 1970 and was 42 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 at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. 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).
9. 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 ...

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