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David L. Hula v. Carolyn W. Colvin

March 11, 2013

DAVID L. HULA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, 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

David L. Hula ("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") and supplemental security income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401 -- 433, 1381 -- 1383f ("Act"). This matter comes before the Court upon cross-motions for summary judgment. (Doc. Nos. 9 & 12). The record has been developed at the administrative level. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. no. 9) will be GRANTED, and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. no. 12) will be DENIED.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff filed for DIB and SSI with the Social Security Administration on April 21, 2009, claiming an inability to work due to disability beginning May 31, 2005. (Transcript ("Tr.") at 11). Plaintiff was initially denied benefits on January 7, 2010. (Id.). A hearing was scheduled for March 17, 2011. (Id.). Plaintiff appeared to testify, and was represented by counsel. (Id.).

A vocational expert ("VE") also testified. (Id.). The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") issued his decision denying benefits to Plaintiff on April 28, 2011. (Tr. at 11-21). Plaintiff filed a request for review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals Council, which request was denied on August 30, 2012, thereby making the decision of the ALJ the final decision of the Commissioner. (Tr. at 1-5).

Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this Court on October 26, 2012. (Doc. No. 1). Defendant filed her Answer on December 31, 2012. (Doc. No. 6). Cross-motions for summary judgment followed. (Doc. Nos. 9 and 12).

III. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

The ALJ made the following findings in denying Plaintiff's application for DIB and SSI:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through June 30, 2009 (Tr. 13);

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 31, 2005, the alleged onset date (Id.);

3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: history of esophageal ulcer, and major depressive disorder (Id.);

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

5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except he should engage in no hazards such as unprotected heights, or dangerous machinery, no exposure to temperature extremes, and have a sit/stand option. Further, the hypothetical individual is relegated to simple routine repetitive tasks, no piece-work, no independent judgment, and no reading, writing, or math (Tr. 15);

6. The claimant has no past relevant work (Tr. 19); 7. The claimant was born on April 21, 1973, and was 32 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, ...


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