this as proof that plaintiff's pain is not severely disabling. Finally, the ALJ did not believe plaintiff's testimony that he could not get financial assistance from welfare agencies, and that he was denied employment as a dishwasher and security guard because of his physical limitations. It seems to me that these criteria do not significantly detract from plaintiff's credibility, and that the ALJ did not use sound analysis in using them to discredit Mr. Dixon's testimony. The fact that plaintiff could get welfare assistance doesn't guarantee he could then afford treatment, and his inability to obtain work actually supports his contention of disability.
Although a court normally defers to the ALJ on findings of credibility, the case should be remanded if the ALJ has made a determination on credibility on an improper basis. King v. Secretary of HEW, 481 F. Supp. 947, 948 (E.D. Pa. 1979); Curtin v. Harris, 508 F. Supp. 791, 795 (D.N.J. 1981). While the ALJ is entitled to discredit the plaintiff's testimony as to pain, he is required to state facts upon which he bases his conclusion which must be clear and reasonable. Singleton v. Schweiker, 551 F. Supp. 715, 722 (3rd Cir. 1982). Here, the ALJ did not reasonably deal with plaintiff's complaints of pain, and I reject his finding on credibility.
The law is clear as to the proper analysis of the plaintiff's evidence. The ALJ must consider all the evidence -- objective medical data, expert medical opinions, and subjective complaints -- and he must provide a reasonable explanation for rejecting any evidence. Cotter v. Harris, 642 F.2d 700, 704 (3rd Cir. 1981). Here, the ALJ virtually ignored the electromyelogram results, distorted Dr. Anthony's reports and discounted Dr. Barrer's without relying on any sound medical evidence, and unreasonably discredited plaintiff's testimony. By his improper treatment of all the evidence, the ALJ undermined the foundation for his decision that plaintiff can return to past relevant work.
The regulations set forth five sequential steps in evaluating disability. 20 CFR § 404.1520; Santise v. Schweiker, 676 F.2d 925 (3rd Cir. 1982). The ALJ stopped his analysis at step four, after finding that plaintiff can return to past work as a janitor. Because this finding is contrary to the evidence, the ALJ made an error of law and the case must be remanded to proceed with the sequential analysis. The plaintiff has shown that he cannot return to former work, so the burden shifts to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to show that there is other employment the claimant is capable of performing. Dobrowolsky v. Califano, 606 F.2d 403 (3rd Cir. 1979).
Accordingly, I will remand so that the ALJ can proceed with the final step of the required analysis to determine if there is other substantial gainful activity the plaintiff can perform in light of his residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience.
NAND NOW, this 30th day of May, 1983, it is hereby Ordered that:
1. The motion for summary judgment of the plaintiff is DENIED;
2. The motion for summary judgment of the defendant is DENIED;
3. The case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with the memorandum.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
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