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David Mcmanus v. Commissioner of Social Security

February 24, 2012

DAVID MCMANUS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, who is proceeding with retained counsel, brings this action for judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Pursuant to the written consent of all parties, this case is before the undersigned as the presiding judge for all purposes, including entry of final judgment. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 17) and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 18). For the reasons discussed below, the court will grant plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or remand and deny the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY*fn1

Plaintiff applied for social security benefits in April, 2007 alleging an onset of disability on August 1, 2004 due to mental impairments. Certified administrative record ("CAR") 116-122 . Specifically, plaintiff claims disability due to depression and bi-polar disorder. CAR 158. Plaintiff's claim was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held on November 4, 2008, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") William C. Thompson, Jr. In a March 20, 2009 decision, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff is not disabled*fn2 based on the following findings:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act only through March 31, 2006.

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 1, 2004, the alleged onset date of disability.

3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: depression and anxiety.

4. 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.

5. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined [in the regulations] as follows: can lift 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; capable of standing and walking in combination for at least 6 hours in a workday; capable of sitting at least 6 hours in a workday; should not be exposed to excessive amounts of dust, fumes, smoke or other respiratory irritants; is best suited for jobs involving relatively simple instructions and having restricted contact with the public.

6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work. 7. The claimant was born on January 12, 1956 and was 48 years old, which is defined as a "younger individual age 18-49," on the alleged disability onset date. He attained age 50 on January 20[sic], 2006, and is currently "closely approaching advanced age."

8. The claimant has a "limited" education and is able to communicate in English.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from August 1, 2004 ...


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