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Patricia K. v. Commissioner of Social Security

December 17, 2010

PATRICIA K. SULLIVAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scullin, Senior Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to the Social Security Act ("the Act"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3), seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (the "Commissioner"), denying her applications for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") and Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB"). Plaintiff requests that the Court reverse the ALJ's decision or remand the case to the ALJ for further evaluation of the evidence. Currently before the Court are Plaintiff's and Defendant's cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. See generally Dkt. Nos. 12, 15.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, then 46, filed an application for SSI on August 16, 2004, and DIB on August 17, 2004. See Administrative Record ("AR") at 213, 63. In her disability report, Plaintiff cited an injured rotator cuff as her disabling condition. See AR at 72. The Social Security Administration denied her requests on November 10, 2004. See id. at 28. Plaintiff filed a timely request for a hearing on January 14, 2005, which was held before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Gordon Mahley in Utica, New York, on August 15, 2005. See AR at 33-34, 220. Attorney Peter Antonowicz represented Plaintiff, who appeared and testified. See AR at 220, 224. Mr. David Festa, a vocational expert ("VE"), also testified. See id. at 220, 251.

ALJ Mahley considered the case de novo and issued a written decision denying Plaintiff's application on January 27, 2006. See AR at 18-26. In his decision, ALJ Mahley stated that he carefully considered all medical opinions regarding the severity of Plaintiff's impairments and made the following findings:

1) Plaintiff meets the non-disability requirements for a period of disability and DIB set forth in § 216(i) of the Social Security Act and is insured for benefits through the date of the ALJ's decision.

2) Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset of her condition.

3) Plaintiff's status post right shoulder repair of the labrum and partial supraspinatus tear is a severe impairment under the regulations.

4) Plaintiff's impairment does not meet or medically equal one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (the "Listings").

5) Plaintiff's allegations regarding her limitations are not totally credible.

6) Plaintiff has the RFC to perform a wide range of sedentary work. Plaintiff can perform household duties with her left hand, pull drawers with her right hand, sit for fifty percent of the day and stand for the other fifty percent. Plaintiff can lift twelve to fifteen pounds with her left hand and push or pull the same.

7) Plaintiff is unable to perform any of her past relevant work.

8) Plaintiff is a "younger individual," as defined by ...


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