The opinion of the court was delivered by: Conti, Senior U.S. District Judge.
ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DEFENDANT'S CROSS
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Plaintiff Monte R. Moore ("Plaintiff") brings this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 405 (g) to obtain judicial review of the final decision
of defendant Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
("Commissioner") that Plaintiff does not qualify for disability benefits
under Title II of the Social Security Act. See 42 U.S.C. § 401 et
seq. Plaintiff requests that relief be given in the form of an order
reversing the decisions of the Commissioner, or in the alternative,
remanding the case to the Commissioner for further proceedings. The
Commissioner cross-moves for summary judgment and for, affirmation of his
Plaintiff filed an application for Social Security disability insurance
benefits on February 17, 1998. He alleged that he became disabled
beginning May 30, 1996 due to colitis, a deteriorating hip, low back
pain, a past knee fusion in which a steel rod was inserted from the hip to
the ankle, and loss of teeth as a result of lack of calcium due to the
Plaintiff's application for social security disability benefits was
denied initially and on reconsideration. Plaintiff filed a request for
rehearing. The administrative hearing took place before Catherine
Uazuran, United States Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). On January 29,
1999, Judge Uazuran rendered a decision unfavorable to Plaintiff. The
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on April 21, 2000.
Plaintiff contends that this Court should grant summary judgment in his
favor on two grounds. First, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ's
determination that Plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity to
perform work at a light exertional level misrepresented Plaintiff's
limitations and was not supported by substantial evidence. See Ptf. Mem.
at 5. Second, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ erred as a matter of law by
failing to consider the entire case record and failing to set forth "an
accurate and detailed representation of all plaintiffs limitations as
expressed in the medical records." See Ptf. Mem. at 6. These arguments
appear to be two sides of the same coin: that the ALJ's determination was
not supported by substantial evidence because she failed to consider the
The Commissioner disputes these contentions, and seeks summary judgment
against Plaintiff. For the reasons set forth below, the Court agrees in
part with Plaintiff, and remands the case to the ALJ for the limited
purpose of making a determination of Plaintiff's Koch pouch-related
limitations based on all the evidence in the record, and a finding
concerning Plaintiff's ability to work given his limitations.
In his decision, the ALJ properly noted that the Social Security
Regulations establish a five-step sequential evaluation process for
making disability determinations.
The first step asks whether the claimant is working.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1520 (b). The second step asks whether the claimant
has a "severe" impairment. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520 (c). The third step
asks whether the claimant has an impairment which meets or equals the
criteria of any impairment listed in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Social
Security Regulation No. 4. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520 (d). The fourth asks
whether the claimant can perform his past relevant work.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1520 (e). The fifth asks whether the claimant can
perform other jobs present in significant numbers in the national
economy. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520 (f). If the answer to one of these
questions establishes whether the claimant is disabled, no further
evaluation is necessary.
The ALJ analyzed Plaintiff's disability claim through this five-step
process. Pursuant to step one, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had not
engaged in any significant gainful activity after May 30, 1996. Pursuant
to step two, the ALJ found Plaintiff to have the severe impairments of
chronic ulcerative colitis, status post colectomy in 1990 and Koch pouch
creation in 1994, and status post rodding of the left leg from the hip to
the ankle. Trans. at 23.