The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras, District Judge:
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), Plaintiff Mary Ellen Bozych ("Bozych") seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration ("Commissioner") denying a portion of her claim for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 416(I), 423. Bozych and the Commissioner filed cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, Bozych's motion is granted and the Commissioner's motion is denied.
Bozych filed an application for DIB on November 8, 2006, alleging disability as of June 30, 2004, due to multiple sclerosis ("MS"). Bozych's application was initially denied on March 28, 2007, and again upon reconsideration on May 21, 2007. Bozych requested a hearing, which was conducted before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") on October 20, 2008. On February 11, 2009, the ALJ rendered a partially favorable decision for Bozych, finding that Bozych was not disabled until November 1, 2007. Having exhausted her administrative remedies, Bozych filed the instant action on December 27, 2010.
Although the medical evidence presented in this case is extensive, only the following evidence is relevant to the ensuing discussion.
Bozych was first diagnosed with MS in 1996. In April 2004, an MRI of Bozych's brain revealed findings consistent with MS. On June 30, 2004, Bozych quit her job as a dispatcher in the transportation industrybecause her MS "got too bad." Her treating neurologist, Dr. Melvin Wichter ("Dr. Wichter"), prescribed Avonex, which caused side effects of nausea, depression, edginess, and melancholy. Bozych used Avonex intermittently through 2006 because of these adverse side effects.
In May 2006 and October 2007, two additional MRIs revealed that Bozych's MS had not progressed. Dr. Wichter's treatment notes from December 2006 indicate that Bozych wanted to discontinue her medication and that she was feeling "very good, wonderful."
In February 2007, Dr. M.S. Patil ("Dr. Patil") performed a consultative examination of Bozych and confirmed a diagnosis of MS. Dr. Patil noted that Bozych complained of fatigue and showed difficulty walking, but results from a neurological exam were within normal limits. Dr. Wichter's treatment notes from 2007 indicate that Bozych was experiencing extreme fatigue and "heavy legs." In March 2008, Bozych expressed increased significant spasticity, and clinical findings indicated that her MS had progressed and her condition had worsened.
Bozych reported that she had been receiving treatment for depression for the past twenty years. On August 21, 2007, Dr. Piyush C. Buch ("Dr. Buch") conducted a mental status exam, during which Bozych related a history of depression, variable sleep, and poor energy levels. Dr. Buch diagnosed Bozych with major depressive disorder and concluded that Bozych exhibited appropriate behavior, related well, and could understand, remember, and carry out instructions.
On August 29, 2007, state agency psychologist Carl Hermsmeyer, Ph.D. ("Dr. Hermsmeyer") reviewed the record evidence and completed a psychiatric review technique form. Dr. Hermsmeyer noted that Bozych suffered from major depressive disorder and found that Bozych had mild limitations in performing "activities of daily living" and moderate difficulties in "maintaining social functioning" and "concentration, persistence, and pace." Dr. Hermsmeyer concluded that Bozych's depression was "more than non-severe" and that while she may experience difficulty ...