The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge
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. 19) and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 20). For the reasons discussed below, the court will deny plaintiff's motion for summary judgment or remand and grant the Commissioner's cross-motion for summary judgment.
I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY*fn1
Plaintiff applied for social security benefits on April 12, 2006, alleging an onset of disability on January 1, 1999, due to disabilities including ulcerative colitis, degenerative disc disease, vision problems, stomach pain, GI bleeding, migraines, and numbness in front left leg. (Certified administrative record ("CAR") 22, 41-44, 55-59, 86-92, 128-34). Plaintiff's claim was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held on September 17, 2008, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Theodore T. N. Slocum. In a January 14, 2009, decision, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff is not disabled*fn2 based on the following findings:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 12, 2006, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: chronic colitis and degenerative disc disease (20 CFR 416.921 et seq.).
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 416.925 and 416.926).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) except that he can occasionally stoop, crouch, and crawl, and climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. He can frequently climb stairs and ramps, and perform activities such as balancing and kneeling. The claimant can not perform work that requires constant or abrupt movements of the neck. Given the claimant's gastrointestinal impairment, he must perform work within two minutes of a bathroom.
5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965). 6. The claimant was born on December 1, 1964 and was 41 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, 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 an issue because the claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 416.968).
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 416.969 and 416.969a).
10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since April 12, 2006, the date the ...