United States District Court, D. Colorado
CHRISTIAN J. KIMBROUGH, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
RAYMOND P. MOORE, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Christian J. Kimbrough's ("Plaintiff") request for judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff challenges the final decision of Defendant Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, by which she denied Plaintiff's applications for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") and supplemental security income ("SSI") respectively under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"). An Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") ruled Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Act and therefore not entitled to DIB or SSI.
Defendant provided the Court with the administrative record. (ECF Nos. 10; 10-1; 10-2; 10-3; 10-4; 10-5; 10-6; 10-7; 10-8; 10-9; 10-10.) The parties have fully briefed the matter and it is ripe for adjudication. (ECF Nos. 16; 19; 20.)
For the reasons set forth below, the Court vacates Defendant's denial of Plaintiff's DIB and SSI applications and remands for further proceedings consistent with this Order.
In March 2011, Plaintiff applied for DIB and SSI alleging he was disabled as of May 6, 2008 (Tr. 159) due to the following conditions that limit his ability to work: bipolar II disorder and an unresolved tibia fracture (Tr. 159). Plaintiff subsequently amended his disability onset date to September 22, 2009. (Tr. 31.) After Plaintiff's applications were initially denied (Tr. 62-90), Plaintiff requested a hearing before an ALJ (Tr. 95-96) which occurred in August 2012 (Tr. 27-61). On August 28, 2012, the ALJ denied Plaintiff's applications. (Tr. 11-22.) Plaintiff requested review of the ALJ's decision and, in October 2013, the Appeals Council declined review of the ALJ's decision. (Tr. 1-6.) Plaintiff timely requested judicial review before the Court.
A. Background and Relevant Medical Evidence
Plaintiff was born in 1977. (Tr. 31.) Plaintiff has a high school equivalent education. (Tr. 31.) Plaintiff reported his past work as a tire changer, construction worker, kitchen helper, carwash attendant, industrial cleaner, short-order cook, heating and conditioning repair person, and small-engine maintenance person. (Tr. 57-58, 166.)
Plaintiff claims he became disabled on September 22, 2009 (Tr. 31) due to a combination of physical and mental health impairments (Tr. 62, 83, 91, 135-143).
1. Physical Impairments
In June 2011, Plaintiff underwent a physical consultative examination performed by Nancy Cutter, M.D. (Tr. 393-99.) Plaintiff reported that he had been in a motorcycle accident in October 2010, in which he sustained multiple injuries-including a back fracture, shoulder injury, leg fracture, hip fracture, sternum fracture, and neck fracture. (Tr. 393.) Plaintiff stated his leg fracture had not healed. (Tr. 393.)
Dr. Cutter opined that x-rays showed that Plaintiff's leg fracture had healed. (Tr. 398.) Dr. Cutter concluded Plaintiff
should be able to carry and lift 50 pounds occasionally and 20 pounds frequently. He may need occasional postural limitation[s] for bending, squatting, crouching, and stooping. There are no manipulative limitations recommended at this time.... There may be workplace environmental conditions expected for unprotected heights, ladders, stairs, and heavy machinery. He can handle rare complexity of stress. He would need frequent every two hour rest breaks.... Please defer specific psychiatric recommendations to the appropriately trained mental health specialist.
At the hearing, Plaintiff testified that he still had pain in his left leg from the 2010 motorcycle accident. (Tr. 46-47.) Plaintiff also testified that he had back and neck pain for which he took over-the-counter pain medication. (Tr. 48-49.) Plaintiff testified ...