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GAUTHNEY v. SHALALA

November 15, 1994

MATTHEW GAUTHNEY
v.
DONNA SHALALA, Secretary of Health and Human Services



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RUETER

 November 15, 1994

 THOMAS J. RUETER

 U.S. Magistrate Judge

 Plaintiff commenced this action under the Social Security Act ("Act"), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), requesting a review of the denial of his claim for supplemental security income benefits by the Secretary of Health and Human Services ("Secretary") Both parties have filed cross motions for summary judgment. For the following reasons, I recommend that the Secretary's motion be DENIED and the Plaintiff's motion be GRANTED and the case be REMANDED to the Secretary for further administrative proceedings.

 I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

 The plaintiff, born on March 27, 1951, is a forty-three year old male. (R. 42, 46, 61). He is a high school graduate and his past relevant work was as a painter and carpenter. (R. 19, 73). The plaintiff alleges disability as of June 5, 1991, due to an injury to his right hand. (R. 19, 42, 46, 61, 69-76).

 The plaintiff filed an application for supplemental security income benefits on January 7, 1992, due to the loss of the fingertips on his right hand from a firecracker accident. (R. 42-44). This application was denied by initial determination on May 6, 1992. (R. 55-58). A request for reconsideration of the denial of supplemental security income benefits was made by the plaintiff on May 28, 1992, and on June 19, 1992, the Secretary upheld the previous decision. (R. 59-64). The plaintiff then filed a request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") on August 14, 1992, and on January 6, 1993, a hearing was held before ALJ Samuel Dantoni. (R. 26, 29-41, 65-66). The ALJ denied plaintiff's claim in a decision dated September 8, 1993, finding him able to perform a limited range of light work that existed in significant numbers in the national economy, and thus, not disabled under the Social Security Act. (R. 19-23). The ALJ made the following findings:

 
1) The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 5, 1991.
 
3) The claimant's testimony concerning his ability to perform "odd jobs" and lack of treatment for his right hand, is considered credible when viewed the light of the record in its entirety.
 
4) The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform the physical exertion requirements of work except for fine manipulation of the right hand. There are no nonexertional limitations (20 C.F.R. § 416.945).
 
5) The claimant is unable to perform his past relevant work as a painter/carpenter.
 
6) The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a limited range of "light" work (20 C.F.R. § 416.967).
 
7) The claimant is 41 years old, which is defined as a "younger individual" (20 C.F.R. § 416.963).
 
8) The claimant has a twelfth grade education (20 C.F.R. § 416.964).
 
9) The claimant has acquired work skills, such as reading building diagrams/plans/blueprints. Building according to specifications. Layout of work to be performed. Estimating quantity and type of building materials required. Knowledge and use of building trade tools (hand and power) to cut, erect, repair, and paint. Knowledge and skill to install electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures. Interpersonal communication skills with public/customers. Knowledge of building equipment, machinery, electrical and plumbing components which he demonstrated in past work. Considering his residual functional capacity, these skills can be applied to meet the requirements of semi-skilled work activities of other work which exists in significant numbers in the national economy (20 C.F.R. § 416.968). Examples of such jobs are salesperson/parts. Counter clerk. Inspector. Building inspector. These jobs are noted to exist in the national economy in significant numbers ranging from sixty thousand to two million six hundred thousand.
 
10) Section 416.969 of Regulations No. 16 and Rule 202.22, Table No. 2 of Appendix 2, Subpart P, Regulations No. 4, direct a conclusion that the claimant, considering residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience, is not disabled.
 
11) The claimant was not under a "disability," as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time through the date of this decision (20 C.F.R. § 416.920(f)). (R. 22-23).

 Plaintiff filed a request for review of the decision of the ALJ on September 16, 1993. (R. 7-15). The Appeals Council determined that there was no basis, under the applicable regulations, statutes, and rulings, for granting plaintiff's request for review. Therefore, ...


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