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Holzman v. Colvin

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 14, 2014

Maria Holzman, Plaintiff,
v.
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER

NEIL V. WAKE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Maria Holzman seeks review under 42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g) of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("the Commissioner"), which denied her disability insurance benefits under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Social Security Act. Because the decision of the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") is not supported by substantial evidence and is based on legal error, the Commissioner's decision will be vacated and the matter remanded for further administrative proceedings.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

Holzman was born in July 1959 and was 49 years old on the alleged disability onset date. She has been diagnosed with numerous conditions including, but not limited to, systemic lupus erythematosus ("SLE"), rheumatoid arthritis, hiatal hernia with gastro esophageal reflux disease ("GERD"), asthma, breast cancer in remission, and fibromyalgia.

Holzman has a bachelor's degree in sociology. She worked as a teacher's aide for four and a half years, until September 2008 when she kept getting pneumonias and bronchitis. For about a month in 1999, she worked as an office worker answering telephones.

B. Procedural History

On April 26, 2010, Holzman protectively applied for disability insurance benefits, alleging disability beginning September 10, 2008. On December 9, 2011, she appeared with her attorney and testified at a hearing before the ALJ. A vocational expert also testified.

On January 3, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision that Holzman was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. The Appeals Council denied Holzman's request for review of the hearing decision, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision. On March 27, 2013, Holzman sought review by this Court.

In her Reply Brief (Doc. 13), Holzman summarizes the issues she presents on appeal as follows:

(1) Whether the ALJ went through the proper analysis and considered listings 14.02 for lupus and 14.09 for arthritis;
(2) Whether the ALJ erred by failing to assess Ms. Holzman's fibromyalgia and celiac disease; and
(3) Whether the ALJ justified his determination that Ms. Holzman ...

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