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Roger Hicks v. Michael J. Astrue

August 23, 2012

ROGER HICKS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II 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.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, born August 2, 1946, applied on June 4, 2008 for disability benefits. (Tr. at 121.) Plaintiff alleged he was unable to work since January 30, 2002, due to Reiter's Syndrome*fn1 and degenerative disc and joint disease. (Id. at 121, 159, 171.) In a decision dated September 1, 2009, ALJ Timothy S. Snelling determined plaintiff was not disabled. The ALJ made the following findings:*fn2

1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on March 30, 2004.

2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from his alleged onset date of January 30, 2002 through his date last insured of March 30, 2004 (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).

3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following medically severe combination of impairments: degenerative disk disease, degenerative joint disease, Reiter's syndrome, and hearing loss (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).

4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).

5. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that, through the date last insured, the claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c).

6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was capable of performing past relevant work as a sales route driver, a residence supervisor, a warehouse worker, or a bus driver. This work did not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565).

7. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from January 30, 2002, the alleged onset date, through March 30, 2004, the date last insured (20 CFR 404.1520(f)). (Tr. at 32 - 38.)

ISSUES PRESENTED

Plaintiff has raised the following issues: A. Whether the ALJ Failed to Utilize the Services of a Medical Advisor to Establish Onset; B. Whether the ALJ Failed to Develop the Record and Re-Contact the Treating Physician Regarding the Onset of His Assessed Functional Limitations; C. Whether the ALJ Failed to Properly Credit the 100% Disability Rating Mr. Hicks Received From the Department of Veterans Affairs; and D. Whether the ALJ ...


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