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Friedlander v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. Washington

August 18, 2014

ANNA M. FRIEDLANDER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

DECISION AND ORDER

VICTOR E. BIANCHINI, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

In January of 2010, Plaintiff Anna M. Friedlander applied for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") benefits and Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under the Social Security Act. The Commissioner of Social Security denied the applications.

Plaintiff, represented by the Law Offices of Dana Madsen, Joseph Linehan, Esq., of counsel, commenced this action seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's denial of benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405 (g) and 1383 (c)(3). The parties consented to the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge. (Docket No. 8).

On May 1, 2014, the Honorable Rosanna Malouf Peterson, Chief United States District Judge, referred this case to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B). (Docket No. 16).

II. BACKGROUND

The procedural history may be summarized as follows:

On January 12, 2010, Plaintiff applied for SSI benefits and DIB, alleging disability beginning October 21, 2009. (T at 174-85).[1] The applications were denied initially and Plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). On February 21, 2012, a hearing was held before ALJ Caroline Siderius. (T at 58). Plaintiff appeared with her attorney and testified. (T at 69-95, 98). The ALJ also received testimony from Daniel McKinney, a vocational expert (T at 95-102) and John Morse, a medical expert. (T at 63-69).

On March 12, 2012, ALJ Siderius issued a written decision denying the applications for benefits and finding that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. (T at 29-50). The ALJ's decision became the Commissioner's final decision on July 23, 2013, when the Social Security Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (T at 1-7).

On September 19, 2013, Plaintiff, acting by and through her counsel, timely commenced this action by filing a Complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. (Docket No. 5). The Commissioner interposed an Answer on November 25, 2013. (Docket No. 10).

Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on March 31, 2014. (Docket No. 15). The Commissioner moved for summary judgment on June 10, 2014. (Docket No. 20). Plaintiff filed a reply brief on June 25, 2014. (Docket No. 22).

For the reasons set forth below, the Commissioner's motion is denied, Plaintiff's motion is granted, and this case is remanded for further proceedings.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Sequential ...


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