The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge
Leroy Spearman ("Plaintiff") brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking review of the final determination of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Defendant" or "Commissioner") denying his application for supplemental security income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1381 -- 1383f ("Act"). This matter comes before the court on Cross Motions for Summary Judgment. (ECF Nos. 8, 10). The record has been developed at the administrative level. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED, in part, and DENIED, in part, and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment will be DENIED.
Plaintiff filed for SSI with the Social Security Administration on October 2, 2007, claiming an inability to work due to disability beginning March 31, 2007. (R. at 117)*fn1 . Plaintiff was initially denied benefits on December 7, 2007. (R. at 93 -- 97). A hearing was scheduled for January 22, 2009, and Plaintiff appeared to testify represented by counsel. (R. at 23). A vocational expert also testified. (R. at 23). The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") issued his decision denying benefits to Plaintiff on January 14, 2010. (R. at 12 -- 22). Plaintiff filed a request for review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals Council, which request was denied on September 9, 2010, thereby making the decision of the ALJ the final decision of the Commissioner. (R. at 1 -- 4).
Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this Court on October 8, 2010. (ECF No. 3). Defendant filed his Answer on January 12, 2011. (ECF No. 5). Cross Motions for Summary Judgment followed.
III. STATEMENT OF THE CASE
In his decision denying SSI to Plaintiff, the ALJ made the following findings:
1. The [Plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 2, 2007, the application date;
2. The [Plaintiff] has the following severe impairment: hypertension;
3. The [Plaintiff] does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R., Pt. 404, Subpt. P, Appx. 1;
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the [ALJ] finds that the [Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to ...