"light work activity" as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b). The physical exertion requirements of light work are as follows: the work may require (1) lifting of no more than 20 pounds, with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing only 10 pounds or less; (2) "a good deal of walking or standing"; and/or (3) sitting with some pushing or pulling of arm or leg controls. To be considered capable of a wide range of light work, a person must be able to do substantially all of these activities.
I am unable to find support on the record for the assertion that Mr. Wood is capable of such work. The ALJ relied on the state agency disability determinations made May 14, 1980 (Tr. 91) and September 3, 1980. The May determination, based on the May 1, 1980, report by Dr. Pote, notes that Mr. Wood's pulmonary function study showed a capacity to do even heavy work, and that there was no limitation of his range of motion. However it ignores Dr. Pote's statement that the plaintiff becomes severely short of breath after even minimal exertion (Tr. 231).
The September determination directly conflicts with Dr. Pote's August report, which the determination, inexplicably, cites as support. Dr. Pote's physical capacities evaluation stated that Mr. Wood could occasionally lift up to 11 pounds, but never more than that; that he cannot use his hands for pushing and pulling; and that he can walk no more than one hour per day. (Tr. 249). There is no evidence on the record that the medication plaintiff takes increases his capacities beyond those indicated on the evaluation. The evidence is thus clearly inconsistent with the finding that plaintiff retains the residual functional capacity for prolonged walking and standing, and for lifting the weight required in light work. The above evidence also controverts the finding that plaintiff could return to his job as an assembler. See Tr. 97, 207, 249.
The determination that Mr. Wood was capable of light work during the period in question was essential to the finding that he was not disabled. Since that determination was erroneous, I must conclude that Mr. Wood was indeed disabled.
The evidence on the record may well support a determination that the plaintiff retains the residual functional capacity to engage in sedentary work, which requires lifting of no more than ten pounds, with only occasional walking or standing. However, Rule 201.10 of Table 1, Appendix 2 of 20 C.F.R. § 404 requires that someone of Mr. Wood's age (51 -- "closely approaching advanced age") with a limited education (Tr. 29) and non-transferable skills, must be found disabled if capable only of sedentary work. Though the ALJ made no finding concerning the transferability of Mr. Wood's skills, Dr. Wickis' April, 1979, evaluation (totally restricting Wood from working with moving machinery) and Dr. Pote's August, 1980, evaluation (limiting exposure to machinery and proscribing pushing, pulling and fine manipulating), indicate that his skills would not be transferable. See Tr. 213, 249. I therefore reverse the ALJ's finding that Mr. Wood was not disabled for the period from November, 1979 to May, 1980.
The ALJ stated in his decision that even if Mr. Wood was disabled, his receipt in May, 1980, of a retroactive Veterans Administration pension check covering the period in question would make him ineligible for S.S.I. benefits. The regulations define pensions received from the Veterans Administration as unearned income. 20 C.F.R. § 416.1121(a). Section 416.1123 specifies that such income is counted only when actually received or credited to the recipient's account, except in the case of retroactive social security benefits. See 20 C.F.R. § 416.1123(d). Because Mr. Wood did not receive the lump sum Veterans Administration payment until May, 1980, his receipt of this payment would not appear to affect his eligibility for SSI benefits prior to that time under the applicable regulations.
For the foregoing reasons, I conclude that the Secretary's determination that the plaintiff is not disabled is not supported by substantial evidence. Therefore, I will grant the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and remand with a direction for entry of an award of disability benefits.
AND NOW, this 27th day of July, 1983, it is hereby Ordered that:
(1) plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED;
(2) defendant's motion for summary judgment is DENIED;
(3) the final decision of the Secretary is REVERSED, and the case is REMANDED with directions to grant plaintiff's claim for SSI benefits for the period from November, 1979, through and inclusive of April, 1980; and
(4) judgment is accordingly entered in favor of plaintiff and against the defendant.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
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