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Mark Edward Doner v. Michael J. Astrue

April 1, 2011

MARK EDWARD DONER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



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

Electronically Filed

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I.Introduction

Plaintiff, Mark Edward Doner ("Plaintiff") brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of the Social Security Act (the "Act"), seeking judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his applications for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") and supplemental security income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Act. 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-434, 1381-1383. The parties have submitted cross motions for summary judgment on the record developed at the administrative proceedings. For the following reasons, Plaintiff‟s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 7) will be denied, the Commissioner‟s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 9) will be granted, and the administrative decision of the Commissioner will be affirmed.

II.Procedural History

Doner protectively filed for disability benefits on August 22, 2007, alleging disability as of July 9, 2007. R. 117-128. The applications were denied by the state agency on November 18, 2007. R. 89-92. Doner responded on June 24, 2008, by filing a timely request for an administrative hearing. R. 98-100. On September 8, 2009, an administrative hearing was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Alma S. Deleon. R. 16-41. Doner, who was represented by counsel, appeared and testified. R. 19-36. Frances Kinley, an impartial vocational expert ("VE"), also testified. R. 37-40.

In a decision dated September 23, 2009, the ALJ determined that Doner was not "disabled" within the meaning of the Act. R. 8-16. The Appeals Council denied Doner‟s request for review on October 8, 2010, thereby making the ALJ‟s decision the final decision of the Commissioner in this case. R. 1-3.

Doner commenced the present action on December 3, 2010, seeking judicial review of the Commissioner‟s decision. Doc. No. 1. Doner and the Commissioner filed cross-motions for summary judgment on March 28, 2011. Doc. Nos. 7 & 9. These motions are the subject of this memorandum opinion.

III.Statement of the Case

In her decision, the ALJ made the following findings:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2012.

2. The claimant had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 9, 2007, the alleged onset date. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1571 et seq. and 416.971 et seq.

3. The claimant had the following severe impairments: hypertension and a seizure disorder. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c).

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 (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, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following non-exertional limitations: the claimant cannot climb ladders, make complex decisions, ...


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