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Grinolds v. Astrue

July 22, 2010

MOLLY A. GRINOLDS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, DISTRICT JUDGE MCLAUGHLIN COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE BAXTER DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Paradise Baxter U.S. Magistrate Judge

MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

I. RECOMMENDATION

It is respectfully recommended that Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment [Document # 7] be denied. It is further recommended that the motion for summary judgment filed by the Commissioner [Document # 9] be granted. The Commissioner's decision denying Plaintiff's application for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits should be affirmed.

II. REPORT

A. Procedural History

Plaintiff, Molly Grinolds brings this action pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act ("Act"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision denying her application for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title II and XVI of the Social Security Act. Plaintiff filed DIB and SSI applications on February 26, 2003, alleging disability since December 23, 2002.

(R. at 22, 59.) Her application was denied, and she filed a request for a hearing. (R. at 80.) A hearing was conducted before Administrative Law Judge Bruce Mazzarella ("ALJ") on February 23, 2006.

(R. at 502.) The ALJ issued a decision on June 8, 2006, denying Plaintiff's claims. (R. at 59-68). On July 18, 2007, the Social Security Administration's Appeals Council remanded Plaintiff's case to the ALJ. (R. at 123.) A second hearing was held on April 24, 2008 before ALJ Mazzarella. (R. at 552.) The ALJ issued his decision denying Plaintiff's claims on July 1, 2008. (R. at 22-35.) The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on February 27, 2009. (R. at 9-11.) Plaintiff alleges that the ALJ's decision was not supported by substantial evidence. The Commissioner disagrees. Both Plaintiff and the Commissioner have filed motions for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The matter is now ripe for review and disposition.

B. The ALJ's Decision

In the decision dated July 1, 2008, ALJ Mazzarella made the following findings:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through September 30, 2003.

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since December 23, 2002, the alleged onset date.

3. The claimant had the following severe impairments: history of back related problems / scoliosis; borderline intellectual functioning (V75, P75, FS73 with reading comprehension skills at grade 3-4 level and math at grade 4 level); learning disability; depression / dysthymic disorder.

4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.

5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to sit for an eight hour workday with only normal breaks and meal periods, stand and/or walk for an eight-hour workday with only normal breaks and meal periods, and lift and carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. The claimant is limited to low contact work with the general public, supervisors and co-workers. The claimant is limited to work that has little in the way of changes in work assignments. The claimant is limited ...


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