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Leon Price v. Michael J. Astrue

April 19, 2011

LEON PRICE, 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

Leon Price ("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 disability insurance benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401 -- 433 ("Act"). This matter comes before the Court on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. (ECF Nos. 7, 9). The record has been developed at the administrative level. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 7) will be DENIED, and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 9) will be GRANTED.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff filed for DIB with the Social Security Administration on August 5, 2008, claiming an inability to work due to disability beginning May 8, 2008. (R. at 94)*fn1 . Plaintiff was initially denied benefits on October 3, 2008. (R. at 49 -- 53). A hearing was scheduled for November 27, 2009, and Plaintiff appeared to testify represented by counsel. (R. at 22). A vocational expert also testified. (R. at 22). The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") issued his decision denying benefits to Plaintiff on January 20, 2010. (R. at 7 -- 21). Plaintiff filed a request for review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals Council, which request was denied on September 17, 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 November 8, 2010. (ECF No. 3). Defendant filed his Answer on January 21, 2011. (ECF No. 4). Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment followed.

III. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

In his decision denying DIB to Plaintiff, the ALJ made the following findings:

1. The [Plaintiff] meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2013;

2. The [Plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 8, 2008, the alleged onset date;

3. The [Plaintiff] has the following severe impairments: obesity; obstructive sleep apnea; gastroesophageal reflux disease; and bipolar disorder;

4. The [Plaintiff] does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments under 20 C.F.R., Pt. 404, Subpt. P, Appx. 1;

5. [T]he [ALJ] finds that the [Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(b); occasional postural movements except no climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, and no crawling; no concentrated exposure to workplace hazards; limited to simple work duties with one to three step instructions; no detailed or complex work duties; no prolonged attention to detail; no more than occasional interaction with the ...


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