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Robert Selian v. Michael Astrue

January 23, 2012

ROBERT SELIAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary L. Sharpe Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Robert Selian challenges the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of disability insurance benefits (DIB), seeking judicial review under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). (See Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) After reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering the arguments, the court affirms the Commissioner's decision and dismisses Selian's complaint.

II. Background

On February 8, 2007, Selian filed an application for DIB under the Social Security Act ("Act"), alleging disability since June 30, 2001. (Tr.*fn1 at 10.) After his application was denied, Selian requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on April 29, 2009. (Id.) On July 23, 2009, the ALJ issued a decision denying the requested benefits, which became the Commissioner's final decision upon the Social Security Administration Appeals Council's denial of review. (Id. at 1-4, 10-21.)

Selian commenced the present action by filing a complaint on November 19, 2010, seeking review of the Commissioner's determination.*fn2

(Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) The Commissioner filed an answer and a certified copy of the administrative transcript. (Dkt. Nos. 9, 10.) Each party, seeking judgment on the pleadings, filed a brief. (Dkt. Nos. 15, 16.)

III. Contentions

Selian contends the Commissioner's decision is not supported by substantial evidence. Specifically, Selian claims the ALJ: (1) did not properly assess the medical evidence; and (2) failed to appropriately determine his Residual Function Capacity ("RFC").*fn3 (See Dkt. No. 15 at 1, 9-16.) The Commissioner counters that substantial evidence supports the ALJ's decision.(See generally Dkt. No. 16.)

IV. Facts

The evidence in this case is undisputed and the court adopts the parties' factual recitations. (See Dkt. No. 15 at 1-9; Dkt. No. 16 at 1-10.)

V. Standard of Review

The standard for reviewing the Commissioner's final decision under 42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g) is well established and will not be repeated here. For a full discussion of the standard and the five-step process used by the Commissioner in evaluating whether a claimant is disabled under the Act, the court refers the parties to its previous opinion in Christiana v. ...


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