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POTETZ v. HECKLER

April 21, 1986

JAMES S. POTETZ, Plaintiff
v.
MARGARET M. HECKLER, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Defendant


Barron P. McCune, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCCUNE

BARRON P. McCUNE, District Judge

 This is an action under § 205(g) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S. C. § 405(g), to review the final decision of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) denying the plaintiff's claim for disability insurance benefits.

 The plaintiff filed an application for disability insurance benefits on March 25, 1982, alleging disability due to back problems and depression since December of 1979. Plaintiff later amended his application to allege an onset date of March 20, 1976.

 Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff thereafter requested and was granted a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) who, in a decision dated November 1, 1983, also denied benefits. After the Appeals Council denied review the plaintiff timely filed the present action.

 We consider the parties' cross motions for summary judgment.

 For the reasons stated below, the defendant's motion for summary judgment will be granted.

 FACTS

 Plaintiff, at the time of his hearing, was a 24 year old male with a ninth grade education. Plaintiff had additional vocational training as an auto mechanic. At various times he has been employed as a janitor, gardener and busboy.

 Plaintiff last met the special earnings requirement for disability benefits eligibility on September 30, 1977. Plaintiff must therefore establish that he was disabled prior to that date.

 The medical evidence of record indicates that sometime prior to 1976 plaintiff suffered a broken jaw. Although the exact date the injury occurred was not reported, an examination in May of 1976 revealed the plaintiff's jaw had healed in a normal fashion. The examination in May 1976 was necessitated by an automobile accident in which the plaintiff was thrown against the windshield and knocked unconscious. Plaintiff sustained lacerations to the head and face but x-rays were otherwise negative.

 In February of 1977 plaintiff reported to the emergency room of Ohio Valley General Hospital complaining of a tightening of the neck and breathing difficulties. Plaintiff's condition, which was deemed to be anxiety related, was treated and plaintiff was released.

 In June of 1977, plaintiff was referred to the Staunton Clinic and examined by a psychiatrist and social worker. It was reported that plaintiff's thought content was somewhat paranoid but that plaintiff was pleasant in manner, alert and oriented.

 Although his intelligence functioning was in the dull normal classification and plaintiff was considered a poor rehabilitative candidate, it was suggested that placement in ...


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