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ROSE v. FINCH

September 15, 1969

Grant H. ROSE, Plaintiff,
v.
Robert H. FINCH, Secretary, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH

 MARSH, Chief Judge.

 On December 9, 1966, plaintiff filed with the Social Security Administration an application for Disability Insurance Benefits under §§ 216(i) and 223 of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 416(i), 423, *fn1" alleging that he first became unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity on March 2, 1966. His application was denied by the Division of Evaluation and Authorization and by the Division of Reconsideration, Bureau of Disability Insurance, and at plaintiff's request a hearing was had on January 5, 1968, before a hearing examiner of the Social Security Administration, Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, who also denied plaintiff's claim. *fn2" On April 12, 1968, the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration advised plaintiff that his request for a review of the hearing examiner's decision was denied; whereupon, pursuant to § 205(g) of the Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), plaintiff commenced this action to obtain a judicial review of the decision of the Secretary denying plaintiff's claim. *fn3" 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.

 
"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. § 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).

 The plaintiff last met the earnings requirements of the Act on December 31, 1964. *fn4" Therefore, the Social Security Administration could have awarded disability benefits to plaintiff only if he proved that he was disabled, within the meaning of the Act, on or before that date.

 Section 223(d) of the Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 423(d), 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 * * * 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), 'work which exists ...

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