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Jessica Wheeler O/B/O A.T.W v. Michael J. Astrue

February 14, 2011

JESSICA WHEELER O/B/O A.T.W., PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE,*FN1 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 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3), seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (the "Commissioner"), denying her application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") benefits for her child.

Currently before the Court are Plaintiff's and Defendant's cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings. See Dkt. Nos. 11, 12.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff protectively filed an application for SSI on behalf of her child, then six, on April 15, 2004.*fn2 See Administrative Record ("AR") at 53. In the disability report, Plaintiff cited hearing damage, learning disability, speech difficulty, and a disability to her child's legs that caused the child's knees to bow in. See id. at 68-9. The Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff's application on November 19, 2004. See id. at 31. Plaintiff filed a timely request for a hearing on January 20, 2005, which was held before ALJ Alfred R. Tyminski, in Syracuse, New York, on July 11, 2005. See id. at 35, 324. Attorney Jaya Shurtliff represented Plaintiff, who appeared and testified on behalf of her child. See id. at 324, 328.

ALJ Tyminski reviewed the case de novo and issued a written decision denying Plaintiff's application on December 6, 2005. See AR at 24-29. In the decision, ALJ Tyminski stated that he carefully considered the evidence in the record and made the following findings:

1) Plaintiff's child has not engaged in substantial gainful activity.

2) Plaintiff's child's eustachian tube dysfunction, mild conductive hearing loss, and speech/language delays constitute severe impairments.

3) Plaintiff's child does not suffer from a medically determinable impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals a listing in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (the "Listings").

4) Plaintiff's child has less than marked limitations in the domain of acquiring and using information.

5) Plaintiff's child has less than marked limitations in the domain of attending to and completing tasks.

6) Plaintiff's child has no limitations in the domain of interacting with and relating to others.

7) Plaintiff's child has no limitations in the domain of moving and manipulating objects.

8) Plaintiff's child has no limitations in the domain of self-care.

9) Plaintiff's child has less than marked limitations in the domain of health and physical well-being.

10) Plaintiff's child does not have a medically determinable impairment or combination of impairments that is functionally equivalent to an impairment in the Listings.

11) Plaintiff's child is not disabled under the Act. See AR at 28.

The ALJ's decision became the Commissioner's final decision on September 25, 2006, when the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration denied ...


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