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Tuttle v. Astrue

February 26, 2009

CHARLES F. TUTTLE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows U.S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his applications for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI respectively of the Social Security Act ("Act"). For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART, the Commissioner's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, and this matter is remanded to the ALJ for further findings as directed in this opinion. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment for plaintiff.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born June 14, 1962, applied on April 21, 2005 for disability benefits.*fn1

(Tr. at 45, 225.) Plaintiff alleged he was unable to work due to back injury, face injury, headaches and dizzy spells. (Tr. at 51.)

In a decision dated February 23, 2007, ALJ Laura Speck Havens determined plaintiff was not disabled. The ALJ made the following findings:*fn2

1. The claimant met the special insured status requirements for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits on November 1, 2000, his alleged disability onset date and will continue to meet those requirements through September 30, 2006, his date last insured.

2. The claimant has not performed substantial gainful activity from November 1, 2000, his alleged disability onset date, through the date of this decision.

3. The claimant has severe impairments of status-post residuals of pain from lumbar surgery and headaches from a closed head injury.

4. The claimant does not have an impairment, or combination of impairments, that meets or equals the severity of an impairment in the Listing of Impairments in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Regulations No. 4.

5. The claimant's complaints of totally disabling physical and mental limitations are not fully credible for the reasons set forth in detail in the body of this decision.

6. The claimant is able to perform the full range of work at the light exertional level as defined by the regulations. He is limited to occasional postural activities as that term is also defined by the regulations.

7. The claimant is unable to perform his past relevant work as a recycling attendant, handyman, and water truck driver.

8. The claimant's past relevant work as a recycling attendant and water truck driver, and handyman were semi-skilled and skilled but he does not have skills transferable to skilled or semi-skilled jobs within his residual functional capacity.

9. The claimant was born on June 14, 1962, and was 38 years old or a "younger individual" as defined by the regulations as of his alleged disability onset date. He has a ninth grade or 'limited' education as also defined by the regulations.

10. Given the claimant's vocational profile and residual functional capacity referred to above, the vocational expert testified that the claimant could perform jobs as an assembler of small products, fast food worker and bottle line attendant. Those jobs exist in ...


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