The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge
James D. Jessup ("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 upon cross-motions for summary judgment. (Doc. Nos. 11 & 13). The record has been developed at the administrative level. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. no. 13) will be DENIED, and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. no. 11) will be GRANTED.
Plaintiff filed for SSI with the Social Security Administration on April 20, 2009, claiming an inability to work due to disability beginning January 15, 2001. (Transcript ("Tr.") at 11). Plaintiff was initially denied benefits on January 7, 2010. (Id.).*fn1
A hearing was scheduled for October 21, 2010. (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 November 22, 2010. (Tr. at 11-21). Plaintiff filed a request for review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals Council, which request was denied on June 28, 2012, thereby making the decision of the ALJ the final decision of the Commissioner. (Tr. at 1-5).
Plaintiff filed his Motion for In Forma Pauperis (IFP) status, and his Complaint in this Court on August 14 and 16, 2012. (Doc. Nos. 1 & 2). Defendant filed her Answer on December 19, 2012. (Doc. No. 5). Cross-motions for summary judgment followed. (Doc. Nos. 11 & 13).
III. STATEMENT OF THE CASE
The ALJ made the following findings in denying Plaintiff's application for SSI:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 20,
2009, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.). (Tr. 27);
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive disorder, learning disorder, obesity, chronic knee and back pain (20 CFR 416.920(c). (Id.);
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairment in 20 CFR 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926). (Tr. 28);
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) except that he: can no more than occasionally perform postural adaptations such as stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, balancing or climbing; cannot be exposed to hazards such as unprotected heights or dangerous machinery; and requires a discretionary sit/stand option. The claimant is also limited to simply, routine, repetitive tasks involving: no exercise of ...