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Cawthon v. Colvin

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

March 23, 2017

REGINA L. CAWTHON, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          OPINION

          RICHARD MILLS, U.S. District Judge

         Regina L. Cawthon seeks review, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), of the administrative law judge's decision denying her application for disability insurance benefits.

         Pending are motions for summary judgment filed by both parties.

         Plaintiff's motion is allowed.

         The case is remanded.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Plaintiff's testimony

         Plaintiff Regina L. Cawthon was born in 1983 and alleges an onset date of July 16, 2008. At the May 10, 2012 hearing before the administrative law judge (“ALJ”), the Plaintiff testified she is 5'1" tall and 196 pounds. She is married but separated from her husband and lives with her eight-year old son. The Plaintiff lives in a public housing apartment and is not employed and has no current source of income. She finished the eleventh grade and obtained her GED.

         The Plaintiff testified she had last worked on July 16, 2008, when she was injured while working at Jones Poultry, where she had worked for approximately a year. She injured her back lifting boxes of chicken. The Plaintiff received steroid injections, which helped, and takes hydrocodone as prescribed. Since the injury, the Plaintiff has looked for work in the fast food industry or as a waitress but was not hired.

         Prior to working at Jones Poultry, the Plaintiff worked at the front desk of Heritage Inn and Suites for approximately three months. She testified she had also worked at Ozark Land gift shop for several months where she made t-shirts using a press and worked as a cashier. The Plaintiff also previously worked as a banquet waitress at a hotel at Lake of the Ozarks Country Club serving people in the hotel restaurant. She also testified she worked as a laborer in a factory.

         The Plaintiff testified that, on an average day, she wakes up and has to sit for at least 25 to 30 minutes because it “feels like pins and needles in the morning.” She helps her son get ready for school and then lays down for an hour before showering. The Plaintiff gets dressed and sits for awhile. She pulls a chair up to the sink and does the dishes sitting down. Her son helps with some chores and, on weekends, her husband comes over and sweeps or mops. The Plaintiff states she cannot stand for more than seven to ten minutes at a time.

         The Plaintiff testified she has one good friend who comes over and visits. She is able to shop at Wal-Mart because there are benches where she can sit. She usually sends her husband or mother to do her grocery shopping.

         The Plaintiff testified that she had problems standing at work during her last few months at Jones Poultry. The pain in her feet, hands, legs and arms had gotten worse. Her psoriasis had gotten worse as well.

         The Plaintiff likes to draw, do crafts with her son, watch movies and go fishing if it is flat enough for her to use chairs and keep her feet up. She smoked a pack to a pack-and-a-half of cigarettes per day. She does not drink or use drugs but did go to rehab six years ago for meth use, which she used ...


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