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Samoy v. Saul

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 25, 2019

TERESA SAMOY, 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 XVI of the Social Security Act. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 16 & 17. For the reasons discussed below, plaintiff’s motion is granted, the Commissioner’s motion is denied, and the matter is remanded for further proceedings.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff filed an application for SSI, alleging that she had been disabled since November 1, 2000. Administrative Record (“AR”) at 206-27. Her application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 105-10, 114-19. Thereafter, a hearing was held before administrative law judge (“ALJ”) Timothy S. Snelling. Id. at 50-82. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which she testified. Id.

         On June 27, 2016, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Act.[1] Id. at 39-45. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 20, 2013, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following medically severe combinations of impairments: hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, placement of a spinal shunt, chronic liver disease, a history of polysubstance abuse and alcohol abuse, internal derangement right shoulder, and cervical spine stenosis and spondylosis (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).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally, 10 pounds frequently, sit 6 hours and stand and walk 6 hours in an 8-hour workday. She can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, stoop, crouch, kneel, and crawl, but the claimant cannot climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. In addition, she can perform no more than frequent reaching in all directions overhead with the right upper extremity, and the claimant must avoid concentrated exposure to temperature extremes, vibration, and hazards such as “dangerous and unprotected” moving machinery, heights and bodies of water, etc. (20 CFR 416 416.967(b)).
5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).
6. The claimant was born [in] 1969 and was 43 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 a limited education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 416.968).
9. Considering the claimant’s age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant number in the national economy that the ...

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