United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION RE: CROSS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC.
NOS. 11 and 14)
ARTHUR J. SCHWAB, District Judge.
Plaintiff, James Stephen Grady, II ("Plaintiff"), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) 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"). The Parties have filed 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. 11) will be DENIED, the Commissioner's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 14) will be GRANTED, and the administrative decision of the Commissioner will be AFFIRMED.
II. Procedural History
Plaintiff protectively filed applications for DIB and SSI on December 3, 2010, alleging disability as of July 20, 2008. R. 18. The applications were denied by the state agency on May 24, 2011. R. 80-85. Plaintiff responded on July 20, 2011, by filing a timely request for an administrative hearing. R. 104-105. On April 19, 2012, a hearing was held in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Geoffrey S. Casher. Plaintiff, who was represented by counsel, appeared and testified. Timothy E. Mahler, an impartial vocational expert ("VE"), also testified. R. 46-52.
III. Statement of the Case
In a decision dated July 12, 2012, the ALJ made the following findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2011.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 30, 2008, the alleged onset date. 20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: lumbar spine arthritis, degenerative joint disease, bipolar I disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and opioid dependence. 20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c).
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 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 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 perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) and 416.967(c) except: no exposure to hazardous conditions such as unprotected heights and dangerous machinery; limited to simple, routine tasks involving no more than simple, short instructions and simple work-related decisions with few work place changes (unskilled work); no work at production rate pace or fast pace; and occasional interaction with public, co-workers and supervisors.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on July 16, 1963 and was 45 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged disability ...