This social security action was submitted to the court without oral argument for ruling on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, plaintiff's motion is denied, defendant's motion is granted, and the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner) is affirmed.
On September 17, 2007, plaintiff filed an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act (the Act), alleging disability beginning on August 2, 2003. (Transcript (Tr.) at 98-104.) Plaintiff's application was denied initially and on reconsideration. (Id. at 59-69.)
Plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and an administrative hearing was held before an ALJ on December 17, 2008. (Id. at 18-33.) Plaintiff was represented by counsel and testified at that administrative hearing. In a decision issued on June 15, 2009, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not disabled. (Id. at 43-50.) The ALJ entered the following findings:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 17, 2007, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, scoliosis, and obesity (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 416.925 and 416.926).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of medium work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(c).
5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965). 6. The claimant was born on September 9, 1959 and was 48 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 as 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 416.969(a)).
10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, since September 17, 2007, the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.920(g)).
On December 22, 2010, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's June 15, 2009 decision. (Id. at 34-37.) Plaintiff sought judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) by ...