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Woolsey v. Saul

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 24, 2019

VIRGIE WOOLSEY, 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 a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Titles II of the Social Security Act. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 17 & 20. 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 administrative proceedings.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and DIB, alleging that she had been disabled since January 1, 2003.[1] Administrative Record (“AR”) 152-53. Plaintiff’s application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 107-17. A hearing was subsequently held before administrative law judge (“ALJ”) Curtis Renoe. Id. at 33-80. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she testified. Id.

         On January 25, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Act.[2] Id. at 18-28. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on June 30, 2008.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from her amended alleged onset date of February 25, 2008, through her date last insured of June 30, 2008 (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease, status post anterior and posterior lumbar fusion with radiculopathy in the lower extremities; and obesity (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
* * *
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled 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).
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5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a). The claimant is limited to: lifting and carrying occasionally ten pounds, frequently less than ten pounds; sitting for up to six hours in an eight-hour normal workday, with a sit/stand option (i.e., ability to change positions from sitting to standing and vice versa as needed); never climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; frequent climbing of ramps and stairs; frequent balancing; and, occasional stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling. The claimant can never be exposed to unprotected heights or hazardous machinery.
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6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
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7. The claimant was born [in] 1961 and was 47 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 45-49 [sic][3], on the date last ...

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