The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH
On February 23, 1966, plaintiff filed with the Social Security Administration, Bureau of Disability Insurance, an application to establish a period of disability under § 216(i) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C.A. § 416(i), and an application for disability insurance benefits under § 223 of the Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 423, alleging that he became unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity on December 13, 1961.
Because a final decision of the Secretary is binding on the question of plaintiff's disability up to September 28, 1965, the issue in this action is limited to whether plaintiff was under a disability at any time from September 28, 1965 up to March 31, 1967, when he last met the special earnings requirements of the Act.
Plaintiff's claims were denied by the Bureau, and at plaintiff's request a hearing was held before a hearing examiner of the Social Security Administration, Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, who also denied plaintiff's claims. On September 26, 1967, the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration advised plaintiff that his request for review by it of the hearing examiner's decision was denied; whereupon, pursuant to § 205(g) of the Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 405(g), plaintiff commenced this action to obtain a judicial review of the decision of the Secretary
denying plaintiff's claims. With his answer to plaintiff's complaint, defendant filed a certified copy of the transcript of the record of the proceedings before the Social Security Administration in compliance with § 205(g) of the Act, supra, and subsequently moved for summary judgment.
Section 205(g), supra, provides in its pertinent part as follows:
"As part of his answer the Secretary shall file a certified copy of the transcript of the record including the evidence upon which the findings and decision complained of are based. The court shall have power to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Secretary, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing. The findings of the Secretary as to any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive * * *."
Under § 205(g) and under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C.A. §§ 1001 et seq., we are limited to "ascertaining whether on the record as a whole there is substantial evidence to support the Secretary's findings of fact." Goldman v. Folsom, 246 F.2d 776, 778 (3d Cir.1957); Ferenz v. Folsom, 237 F.2d 46 (3d Cir.1956). "Our judicial duty therefore is to satisfy ourselves that the agency determination has warrant in the record, viewing that record as a whole, and a reasonable basis in law. " Boyd v. Folsom, 257 F.2d 778, 781 (3d Cir.1958). See also, Braun v. Ribicoff, 292 F.2d 354, 357 (3d Cir.1961).
Section 223(d) of the Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 423(d), as added by the "Social Security Amendments of 1967", § 158(b), 81 Stat. 868, defines "disability" for purposes of governing disability insurance benefits as follows:
"(d) (1) The term 'disability' means -
"(A) inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months;
"(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(A) -
"(A) an individual (except a widow, surviving divorced wife, or widower for purposes of section 202(e) or (f)) shall be determined to be under a disability only if his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy, regardless of whether such work exists in the immediate area in which he lives, or whether a specific job vacancy exists for him, or whether he would be hired if he applied for work. For purposes of the preceding sentence (with respect to any individual), ...