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Michael Compton v. Carolyn W. Colvin

March 29, 2013

MICHAEL COMPTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,*FN1 ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



ORDER

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons discussed below, the court grants the plaintiff's motion and remands the matter for further consideration.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff protectively filed an application for SSI on January 10, 2008, alleging that he had been disabled since December 12, 2005. Administrative Record ("AR") 118. Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. at 57-61, 66-70. On January 20, 2010, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") William C. Thompson, Jr. Id. at 31-51. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing, at which he and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. Id.

On March 24, 2010, the ALJ issued a decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(4) of the Act.*fn2 AR at 14-26. The ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 10, 2008, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.). ...

2. The claimant has the following severe impairment: 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 416.920(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 a wide range [of] medium work as defined in 20 CFR 416.697(c). He can lift and/or carry 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently, stand and/or walk at least 6 hours in an 8-hour workday, sit at least 6 hours in an 8-hour workday, and occasionally bend, stoop, twist, squat, kneel, crouch, crawl, and climb stairs or ramps, but not climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolding or work at heights, near moving machinery, or at jobs involving more than simple instructions. ...

5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).

6. The claimant was born [in] 1957 and was 50 years old, which is defined as "closely approaching advanced age", on the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.963).

7. The claimant is illiterate 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 January 10, 2008, the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.920(g)).

Id. at 16-26.

Plaintiff requested that the Appeals Council review the ALJ's decision. Id. at 5-10. However, on May 13, 2011, the Appeals Council denied review, leaving the ALJ's decision as the final decision ...


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