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ULBRICK v. RICHARDSON

October 27, 1971

Edward C. ULBRICK, Plaintiff,
v.
Elliott L. RICHARDSON, Secretary, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Defendant


McCune, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCCUNE

McCUNE, District Judge.

 The plaintiff Ulbrick had applied on November 9, 1968, to the Social Security Administration for determination of a disability period and for disability insurance benefits under 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 416(i) and 423. The Bureau of Disability Insurance advised plaintiff on May 12, 1969, that his application had been denied. Plaintiff's request for reconsideration resulted in an affirmation of the initial determination. He thereafter requested a hearing which was held on July 8, 1970. The determination of the hearing examiner, that plaintiff did not suffer a disability as defined in 42 U.S.C.A. § 423(d), was upheld by the Appeals Counsel. That determination thereby became the final decision of the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Having exhausted his administrative remedies the plaintiff brought this appeal under 42 U.S.C.A. § 405(g). Defendant moved for summary judgment under Rule 56. The parties have filed briefs and also a request that the Court, as is permitted under 42 U.S.C.A. § 405(g) dispose of the case without holding oral argument.

 Judicial review of administrative determinations made in Social Security claim cases is limited to the question of whether there is substantial evidence in the record to support that determination.

 
"(g) Any individual, after any final decision of the Secretary made after a hearing to which he was a party, irrespective of the amount in controversy, may obtain a review of such decision by a civil action commenced within sixty days after the mailing to him of notice of such decision or within such further time as the Secretary may allow. Such action shall be brought in the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which the plaintiff resides or has his principal place of business. * * * As part of his answer the Secretary shall file a certified copy of the transcript of the record including 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 rehearing. The findings of the Secretary as to any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive. * * *" 42 U.S.C.A. § 405(g).

 Our role in this review is to insure that the claimant is not treated in an arbitrary or capricious manner. His claim must be seriously received, investigated and disposed of in conformance with the statute. Resolutions of conflicting evidence, and credibility are matters for the administrative agency, Klapatch v. Finch, 297 F. Supp. 976 at 979 (M.D. Pa. 1969) and if the agency's resolution is supported by substantial evidence we have no power to disturb its findings.

 In the context of administrative law the Supreme Court had defined substantial evidence as:

 
"* * * more than a scintilla, and must do more than create a suspicion of the existence of the fact to be established. 'It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion,' [citation omitted] and it must be enough to justify, if the trial were to a jury, a refusal to direct a verdict when the conclusion sought is one of fact for the jury." N.L.R.B. v. Columbian Enameling & Stamping Co., 306 U.S. 292, 300, 59 S. Ct. 501, 505, 83 L. Ed. 660 (1939).

 If there is evidence from which reasoning minds might arrive at contrary conclusions and if the conclusion of the Secretary is possibly a different one than this court might have reached on the same evidence, we have no power to disturb the Secretary's conclusion.

 The statute creating the right to disability payments provides:

 
"(a) (1) Every individual who --
 
(A) is insured for disability insurance benefits. * * *,
 
(B) has not attained the age of sixty-five,
 
(C) has filed application for disability insurance ...

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