The opinion of the court was delivered by: HAROLD BAER, JR., District Judge
Plaintiff Francisca Valoy (hereinafter "plaintiff' or "Valoy") brings
this action pursuant to § 205(g) of the Social Security Act ("the
Act"), 42 U.S.C § 205(g), challenging the final determination of the
Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner" or "defendant"), denying
Valoy Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"). Valoy and the Commissioner
cross-' move for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure ("Fed, R. Civ. P.") 12(c). For the foregoing reasons,
plaintiff's motion to remand for further proceedings is granted and
defendant's cross-motion for judgment on the pleadings, affirming the
Commissioner's decision, is consequently denied.
A. Factual Background and Medical Evidence/Testimony
1. Plaintiff's Background and Subjective Testimony
Valoy was born in the Dominican Republic on December 31, 1958. While in
the Dominican Republic, Valoy was educated through the Seventh grade.
In 1992, she moved from the Dominican Republic to the United States. She
"once started to go to school to learn English, but  had to leave it
because [she] couldn't learn anything." Transcript ("Tr.") at 45 (11/7/00
Hearing). While her education in the Dominican Republic has enabled her
to read and write Spanish "a little bit", she only knows "certain little
things, but not very much" with respect to English. Tr. at 35, 37, 67.
Valoy has four children the eldest two reside in the Dominican
Republic and the younger two (ages nine and six) live with her in New
York. Tr. at 36. Valoy receives assistance
from her neighbor in caring for her children and performing
household chores, but does some chores herself, such as the laundry. Tr.
at 44. Valoy's neighbor traveled with her to the hearing on the subway.
Valoy testified that she did not socialize very much, and even when she
did, only spent time with her neighbors. Valoy explained that she is
"[a]lmost always" "feeling [so] bad [that she doesn't] want anything,
nothing nothing." Tr. at 46.
Valoy's last occupation was as a hair stylist at a beauty parlor in the
Dominican Republic. She stopped working because of skin complications
(exzema) and arthritis in her hands. Tr. at 38. Valoy also complains of
lost strength, cramps, and rigidity in her hands, which sometimes causes
her to drop objects. Tr. at 41. Valoy had medication for her hand
conditions. Valoy also experienced stomach pain, which physicians
diagnosed as related to menopause. Despite these physical conditions,
Valoy "emphasized that her main reasons for not working were
psychological, including forgetfulness, nervousness, and Mots of
anxiety." Plaintiff's Memorandum ("Pl. Mem.") at 7, citing Tr. at 38. Valoy
testified that she was often "very sad" and cried frequently. Tr. at 39.
Because her appetite has suffered, she has lost seven pounds in the past
year. Tr. at 35-36. Valoy also complained of difficulty sleeping and
hallucinations of people calling her. Tr. at 40.
Valoy testified that she could walk approximately twenty-five blocks
"more or less but very slowly . . . I stop and get tired, I can stop and
continue." Tr. at 43. She also testified that she could only stand for
half an hour, after which time her legs would swell. She estimated that
she could lift or carry less than ten pounds. Tr. at 44. Sitting,
however, she testified was not a problem for her. Tr. at 44.
2. Evidence From Treating Physicians
Valoy has been receiving treatment from Dr. Bernado Martinez
("Martinez") at the Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center since February
23, 1998, on which day she presented with complaints of depression,
nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and anhedonia. Tr. at 175.
After examining Valoy, Martinez reported that she was tearful, had
constricted affect, depressed mood, anxiety, "simple" auditory
hallucinations, poor concentration, and limited insight and judgment. Tr.
at 175-77. Martinez diagnosed Valoy as having an adjustment disorder with
mixed emotion, a generalized anxiety disorder, and a Global Assessment of
Functioning ("GAP") score in the range of 60-70*fn1. Martinez
suggested psychotherapy and prescribe1d Serzone for her depression and
Vistaril for her anxiety. Tr. at 177.
Over a year later, while Valoy was in psychotherapy, Martinez diagnosed
her with general anxiety disorder due to her anxiety, mild depression,
auditory hallucinations, and limited insight and judgment Tr. at 178-79.
When Martinez examined Valoy in September 1999, he noted her continued
depression, and renewed her medications. Tr. at 190. Throughout the fall
and winter of 1999, Valoy reported depression, lack of appetite, constant
worrying, anxiety, hallucinations, and poor sleep. Tr. at 190-93. In
January 2000, Martinez again renewed Valoy's medication, and at some time
thereafter, also prescribed Paxil, a drug indicated for the treatment of
major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social
anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress
disorder. Pl. Mem. at 4.
As per Martinez' suggestion, Valoy began psychotherapy with M. Perez,
C.S.W. ("Perez") on December 15, 1998. On December 22, 1998, Perez noted
that Valoy was "unstable, apprehensive and [in] low sprits and was
"constantly crying." Tr. at 180. When Valoy complained of pain and
auditory hallucinations on January 26, 1999, Perez reported that she
"appeared nervous and somewhat depressed." Tr. at 181. On March 16, 1999,
Valoy complained of poor sleep and a reduced appetite, which resulted in
her losing ten pounds. Tr. at 182. Perez noted on March 30, 1999 that
Valoy continued to be apprehensive and had diminished self-esteem due to
hair loss. Tr. at 183. Valoy continued to complain of sleep and appetite
problems on April 13, 1999, and Perez noted depression on April 27, 1999.
Tr. at 184.
In May 1999, Perez found Valoy to be "very nervous and apprehensive."
Tr. at 185. While Valoy seemed better in the beginning of June, by the
end of the month, she reported feeling "overwhelmed and depressed." Tr.
at 186. For the remainder of June and July, Valoy reported depression,
cessation of energy, and frequent crying. Tr. at 187. At this time, Perez
treated Valoy for an adjustment disorder with mixed emotions. Her
treatment consisted of continued psychotherapy with regular doses of
Serzone and Zyprexa, a medication utilized for the treatment of