evidence. Plaintiff's knee impairments do not limit his activities of daily living.
Finally, plaintiff testified that he suffered headaches, "cracking" and discomfort arising from his old jaw injury. (Tr. at 68-69, 74-75). ALJ Spitz concluded that no evidence of record supports a finding of significant pathology in connection with plaintiff's headaches. (Tr. at 13). Spitz also found that plaintiff's history of a broken jaw and resultant temporal headaches did not meet the standards of listing level severity. (Tr. at 11). Our review of the record indicates that ALJ Bryan concluded that plaintiff's neck and jaw discomfort singly and/or collectively with his other injuries, did not constitute an impairment under the regulations. (Tr. at 313). There was no medical evidence of further jaw injury or of treatment for headaches produced by plaintiff in the hearing before ALJ Spitz. Therefore, we find that plaintiff has failed to establish total disability arising from his jaw/neck problems.
Inasmuch as the plaintiff has failed to satisfy the requirements of any of the listed impairments, he is not automatically disabled. We therefore must determine whether the plaintiff is capable of performing his past relevant work. In the instant case, the plaintiff has job experience as a laborer and a furnace helper. (Tr. at 32, 44). The ALJ concluded that the plaintiff had impairments which compromise his ability to perform basic work-related activities. (Tr. at 11). This finding is consistent with ALJ Bryan's finding in June, 1987, that plaintiff could not perform his past relevant work as a laborer. (Tr. at 313). There is no evidence of record to contradict this finding; therefore, we conclude that the ALJ's findings regarding plaintiff's ability to do basic work activities is consistent with the regulations which define a severe impairment as one which limits one's ability to do basic work activities. 20 CFR § 404.1521.
Therefore, the Secretary must satisfy the burden of proving that "the claimant, given [his] age, education and work experience, has the capacity to perform, specific jobs that exist in the national economy." Rossi v. Califano, 602 F.2d 55, 57 (3d Cir. 1979).
To determine whether the plaintiff is capable of performing other work in the national economy, the ALJ had to determine what type of work he was capable of performing. ALJ Bryan previously concluded that plaintiff had the capacity to perform a wide range of unskilled sedentary work (Tr. at 314). Similarly, ALJ Spitz concluded that plaintiff could perform a full range of sedentary jobs. (Tr. at 13).
Once the ALJ determines the level of work that a plaintiff is capable of performing in conjunction with that individual's education and work experience, the ALJ can utilize the Grids of Appendix 2 to determine whether the plaintiff is disabled. See 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2, Section 200.00(d) (hereinafter "Appendix 2"). In the instant case, the ALJ considered whether the plaintiff's strength limitations alone would direct a finding of disabled.
Looking to Table No. 1 of Appendix 2, for guidance, ALJ Spitz concluded that a literate, younger individual, with a capacity for sedentary work and with unskilled previous work experience is not disabled. Appendix 2, Table No. 1, Sections 201.24. The ALJ then proceeded to apply the grids to the plaintiff's specific vocational profile, and concluded that Section 202.17 of the grids of Appendix 2, Table No. 2 directs a finding that the plaintiff is not disabled.
The ALJ found that plaintiff can perform a full range of sedentary work, without limitation. (Tr. at 13). Section 202.00(a) of Appendix 2 indicates that approximately 1600 separate sedentary and light, unskilled occupations exist, each representing numerous jobs in the national economy which plaintiff can perform. Hence, the ALJ's conclusion that the plaintiff was capable of doing other work available in the national economy is reasonable. Therefore, he is not disabled.
We conclude that the ALJ's determination is supported by substantial evidence. The ALJ carefully reviewed the record of the plaintiff, and considered the fact that the plaintiff had a physical impairment. The ALJ then used Appendix 2 as a framework in determining that the plaintiff was not disabled. In short, the ALJ carefully scrutinized the record of the plaintiff. The record is devoid of any evidence which would support the fact that the plaintiff has a greater physical limitation than that determined by the ALJ. In the instant case, the ALJ has considered all of the evidence in the record, and that evidence supports the ALJ's conclusion that the plaintiff is not disabled. We will affirm the ALJ's denial of benefits to the plaintiff.
We recognize that the plaintiff argues that the ALJ improperly used the grids of Appendix 2 because plaintiff complains of severe pain and stiffness, which are non-exertional impairments. Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment at 13-14. ALJ Spitz found plaintiff's claim of total disability not credible on the basis of objective medical findings, the plaintiff's testimony as to his range of activities and his appearance and demeanor at the hearing. (Tr. at 14). In particular, the ALJ looked to plaintiff's own testimony that he can lift 20 pounds, that he lives by himself and does his own housework, that he cares for pets including dogs, and that he can watch TV and sit in a recliner for a couple of hours comfortably and probably falling asleep, and that he continues to hunt for sport during which he spends time sitting on a log. (Tr. at 12, 58, 69-72, 75-76). Unlike Green v. Schweiker, 749 F.2d 1066 (3d Cir. 1984), cited by plaintiff, in this case the ALJ did not reject plaintiff's allegations of pain in a conclusory fashion and merely on the basis of lack of credibility.
Instead, the ALJ found, with the help of plaintiff's testimony, that the pain in question did not reach the level of severity necessary to constitute an impairment. While we agree that plaintiff has presented objective medical evidence of a herniated disc which could reasonably be expected to produce symptoms of pain, 20 C.F.R. § 416.929 (1988), we also find that plaintiff's own testimony rebutted any claim that the pain was a significant non-exertional impairment. Our Court of Appeals has approved the use of the grids to determine work capabilities absent significant non-exertional impairments. Green v. Schweiker, 749 F.2d at 1071.
For the foregoing reasons, the decision of the Secretary is affirmed and summary judgment is granted in favor of defendant.
AND NOW, this 28th day of December, 1989, in consideration of the cross-motions for summary judgment by the parties, it is
ORDERED, that ALJ's decision denying benefits to the plaintiff, George Trentini, is affirmed. The Clerk of Court is directed to mark this case closed.