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Rannard v. Astrue

July 7, 2009

JOHN RANNARD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Arthur J. Schwab

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. Introduction

Plaintiff, John Rannard (hereinafter "Plaintiff" or "Mr. Rannard"), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) of the Social Security Act ("the Act"), seeking review of the final determination of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for supplemental security income ("SSI") and child insurance benefits ("CIB"). Consistent with the customary practice in the Western District of Pennsylvania, the parties have submitted cross motions for summary judgment on the record developed at the administrative proceedings. After careful consideration of the Administrative Law Judge's ("ALJ") Decision, the memoranda of the parties, and the entire record, the Court will grant in part the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and deny Commissioner's Motion for Summary Judgment.

II. Procedural History

Plaintiff filed an application for SSI and CIB on September 22, 2004, alleging disability since his birth, April 9, 1986. Plaintiff's claim was denied on December 1, 2004 and he thereafter requested a hearing. The hearing was held on August 29, 2006 before ALJ James Bukes. Plaintiff, appearing with his legal representative, testified at the hearing along with Plaintiff's father, Raymond Rannard, and the vocational expert, Samuel E. Edelmann.

The ALJ issued a decision on March 22, 2007, finding that Plaintiff was not disabled. The ALJ found that Plaintiff was capable of performing any physical work but he is limited to simple repetitive instructions and avoiding work setting changes, close interaction with co-workers, decision making and competitive production rate pace. The ALJ found that Plaintiff could perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy such as a stock clerk, machine tender and office cleaner. On October 31, 2008, the Appeals Council affirmed the ALJ's decision, thus becoming the final decision of the Commissioner. Plaintiff then filed his complaint herein seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision.

III. Statement of the Case

In the decision dated March 22, 2007, the ALJ made the following specific findings:

1. The claimant attained age 22 on April 8, 2008, the day before his 22nd birthday (20 C.F.R. 404.102 and 416.120(c)(4)).

2. The claimant has not engaged in "substantial gainful activity" since April 9, 1985, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. 404.1520 (b), 404.1571, 416.920(b) and 416.971).

3. Since April 9, 1986, the alleged onset date of disability, the claimant has had the following severe impairments: attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disorder, impulse disorder, depressive disorder and borderline intellectual functioning (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(c) and 415.920(c)).

4. Since prior to 2004, the claimant has not had an impairment or combination of impairments that meet or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).

5. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that, since prior to 2004, the claimant has had the residual functional capacity to perform work. The claimant is limited to following simple repetitive instructions and avoiding work setting changes.

He is limited to reading at the seventh grade level and math at the third grade level. The claimant should avoid close interaction with co-workers, decision making and competitive production rate pace.

6. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 C.F.R. 404.1565 and 416.965).

7. The claimant is a younger individual age 18-44 (C.F.R. 404.153 and 416.963).

8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 C.F.R. 404.1564 and 416.964).

9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the claimant does not have past relevant work (20 C.F.R. 404.1568 and 416.968).

10. Since prior to 2004, considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, the claimant has been able to perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy (20 C.F.R. 404.1560(c), 404.1566, 416.960(c), and 416.966).

11. The claimant has not been under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act, since prior to 2004 (20 C.F.R. 404.305(a)(5), 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).

Tr. 13-21.

IV. Standards of ...


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