The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows U.S. Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"). For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, the Commissioner's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and the Clerk is directed to enter judgment for the Commissioner.
Plaintiff, born April 30, 1965, applied on March 10, 1997 for disability benefits. (Tr. at 65, 53.) Plaintiff alleged she was unable to work due to systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. (Tr. at 64.) Plaintiff was found disabled by an ALJ on December 15, 1998; however, on October 23, 2002, the Commissioner determined that plaintiff was no longer disabled as of August, 2002. (Tr. at 53-56, 73.) Plaintiff filed a request for reconsideration which was denied, and a timely appeal which was granted. (Tr. at 77, 79, 91, 262-65.) Plaintiff requested and received a hearing on January 13, 2006.*fn1 (Tr. at 356.)
In a decision dated November 24, 2006, ALJ John J. Madden, Jr. determined plaintiff was not disabled. The ALJ made the following findings:*fn2
1. The most recent favorable medical decision finding that the claimant was disabled is the decision dated December 25, 1998. This is known as the "comparison point decision" or CPD.
2. At the time of the CPD, the claimant had the following medically determinable impairments: systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. These impairments were found to meet sections 1.02(A) and (B) of 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d) and 416.920(d)).
3. Through February 1, 2003, the date the claimant's disability ended, the claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity (20 CFR 404.1594(f)(1)).
4. The medical evidence establishes that, as of February 1, 2003, the claimant had the following medically determinable impairments: systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, history of a broken finger status post repair, and obesity.
5. As of February 1, 2003, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments which met or medically equaled the severity of an impairment listed in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.925 and 416.926).
6. Medical improvement occurred as of February 1, 2003 (20 CFR 404.1594(b)(1) and 416.994(b)(1)(i)).
7. The medical improvement is related to the ability to work because, as of February 1, 2003, the impairments present at the time of the CPD no longer met or medically equaled a listing (20 CFR 404.1594(c)(3)(i) and 416.994(b)(2)(iv)(A)).
8. As of February 1, 2003, the claimant continued to have a severe impairment or combination of impairments (20 CFR § 404.1594(f)(6) and 416.994(b)(5)(v)).
9. Based on the impairments present as of February 1, 2003, the claimant has the residual functional capacity to occasionally lift and carry 20 pounds, frequently lift and carry ten pounds, stand and/or walk for six hours in an eight hour day, sit for six hours in an eight hour day, and do unlimited pushing and pulling. She can occasionally climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. She needs to avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold, fumes, dusts, odors, gases, poor ventilation, and hazards.
10. As of February 1, 2003, the claimant was unable to perform past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
11. On February 1, 2003, the claimant was a younger individual age 18-44 and continues to remain in that category (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
12. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
13. Beginning on February 1, 2003, transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because using the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant is "not disabled," whether or not the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41 and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
14. As of February 1, 2003, considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity based on the impairments present as of February 1, 2003, the claimant was able to perform a significant number of jobs in the ...