Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for supplemental security income disability benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. For the reasons discussed below, the court will remand the case for payment of benefits.
Plaintiff filed an application for supplemental security income on February 23, 2006, alleging a disability onset date of November 2, 1992. Administrative Record ("AR") 16. His application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. A hearing was held on April 1, 2008 before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Sandra K. Rogers. Id. Plaintiff, who was represented by attorney Jonathan A. Hendricks, and vocational expert David M. Dettner, testified at the hearing. Id. In a decision dated July 21, 2008, the ALJ determined plaintiff was not disabled.*fn1 Id. at 16-26.
The ALJ made the following specific findings:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since February 23, 2006, the application date (20 CFR 416.920(b) and 416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: lumbar strain/sprain, chronic anterior cruciate ligament tear, and affective mood disorder (20 CFR 416.920(c)). . . .
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(a) except he is limited to unskilled work. . . .
5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work. . . .
6. The claimant was born May 17, 1964 and was 41 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.963).
7. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. 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).
9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 416.960(c) and 416.966). . . .
10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since February 23, 2006, the date the ...