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URTZ v. CALLAHAN

May 20, 1997

MARYELLEN URTZ, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN J. CALLAHAN, 1 COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,2 Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HURD

 This matter is brought pursuant to §§ 205(g) & 1631(b)(3) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) & 1383(c)(3), to review a final determination of the Secretary of Health and Human Services ("Secretary"), *fn3" denying the plaintiff's claim of Supplemental Social Security Disability benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance. The parties have filed their briefs, including the Administrative Record on Appeal, and the matter has been submitted to this Court without oral argument.

 I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

 On March 4, 1993, the plaintiff filed an application for benefits under Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act ("Act"). *fn4" The applications were denied originally and again following plaintiff's request for reconsideration. The plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). On July 26, 1994, the ALJ after considering the case de novo, concluded that the plaintiff was not under a disability. The plaintiff requested that this decision be reviewed by the Appeals Council.

 The decision of the ALJ became the final decision of the Secretary when the Appeals Council denied the plaintiff's request for review on January 30, 1995. Plaintiff now brings this appeal. *fn5" This court must determine if the findings of the Secretary of Health and Human services are supported by substantial evidence.

 II. FACTS

 This Court adopts the facts set forth in the defendant's brief with any exceptions as noted.

 III. CONTENTIONS

 Plaintiff contends that the ALJ's decision was erroneous for the following reasons:

 
1. The ALJ failed to give the proper weight to the claimant's subjective complaints of pain.
 
2. The ALJ's decision is not supported by substantial evidence.

 IV. DISCUSSION

 1. Standard of Review

 A court's review of the Secretary's final decision is limited to determining whether there is substantial evidence in the record to support such decision. Rivera v. Sullivan, 923 F.2d 964, 967 (2d Cir. 1991). Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Id. (quoting Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 28 L. Ed. 2d 842, 91 S. Ct. 1420 (1971)). "To determine on appeal whether an ALJ's findings are supported by substantial evidence, a reviewing court considers the whole record, examining the evidence from both sides, because an analysis of the substantiality of the evidence must also include that which detracts from it's weight." Williams v. Bowen, 859 F.2d 255, 258 (2d Cir. 1988)(citing Universal Camera Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 488, 95 L. Ed. 456, 71 S. Ct. 456 (1951), Mongeur v. ...


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