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California district court reverses ALJ

Osterhout Berger Daley > Case Summaries  > California district court reverses ALJ

California district court reverses ALJ

March 6, 2015. In this case referred by another office, the claimant was denied on the basis of ability to perform “past relevant work” as a hand packer. However, review of the claimant’s work history and earnings record revealed that this job had not been performed at SGA levels, and since the ALJ had failed to make alternate step 5 findings (and was unable to perform other work he had done in the past, as per the ALJs own findings), remand was needed to force a step 5 inquiry. Plaintiff also argued that the claimant’s need for a cane was improperly ignored by the ALJ, given the reaching and handling requirements of all of his past jobs. The court took up the first issue without reaching the second, and found that at best it was unclear whether plaintiff had worked in the past as a hand packer, and remanded on that basis.