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WILLIAM L. ENDLER v. COMMISSIONER OF ) SOCIAL SECURITY

November 16, 2010

WILLIAM L. ENDLER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF ) SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert C. Mitchell, United States Magistrate Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

I. Recommendation

It is respectfully recommended that the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 10) be denied; that the defendant's motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 12) be granted, and that the decision of the Commissioner be affirmed.

II. Report

Presently before the Court for disposition are cross motions for summary judgment.

On April 19, 2010, William L. Endler, by his counsel, filed a complaint pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §405(g) for review of the Commissioner's final determination disallowing his claim for Supplemental Security Income benefits under Sections 1614 and 1631 of the Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §1381 cf.

The instant application for Supplemental Security Income Benefits was filed on September 11, 2007 (R.108-112). On December 3, 2007, benefits were denied (R.65-69), and on January 29, 2008 the plaintiff requested a hearing (R.70). Pursuant to that request a hearing was held on April 7, 2009 (R.25-54). In a decision filed on June 5, 2009, an Administrative Law Judge denied benefits (R11-21), and on June 19, 2009, the plaintiff requested reconsideration of that determination (R.9-10). On January 27, 2010, the Appeals Council affirmed the prior determination (R.6-8). Pursuant to an extension of time, the instant complaint was filed on April 19, 2010.

In reviewing an administrative determination of the Commissioner, the question before any court is whether there is substantial evidence in the agency record to support the findings of the Commissioner that the plaintiff failed to sustain his/her burden of demonstrating that he/she was disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389 (1971); Adorno v. Shalala, 40 F.3d 43 (3d Cir. 1994).

It is provided in 42 U.S.C. Section 405(g) that:

The court shall have power to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing. The findings of the Commissioner of Social Security as to any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive.

Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, Johnson v. Comm'r. 529 F.3d 198 (3d Cir.2008) and the court may not set aside a decision supported by substantial evidence, Hartranft v. Apfel, 181 F.3d 358 (3d Cir.1999).

The purpose of the Supplemental Security Income Program is to provide additional income to persons of limited resources who are aged, blind or disabled persons. 42 U.S.C. §1381; Chalmers v. Shalala, 23 F. 3d 752 (3d Cir. 1994). To be eligible for such benefits,

an individual's income must not exceed a certain established maximum and he/she must fulfill certain eligibility requirements.

As set forth in 20 C.F.R. ยง 416.905(a), disability is defined as: the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be ...


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