MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Armstead Fisher challenges the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and seeks judicial review under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). (See Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) Upon reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering the arguments, the Commissioner's decision is reversed and remanded.
On, March 6, 2000, Fisher filed applications for DIB and SSI under the Social Security Act (the Act), alleging disability since February 28, 1991. (Tr.*fn1 at 175, 877.) After his application was denied, Fisher requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on May 27, 2008.*fn2 (Id. at 151, 1437-1501.) On July 24, 2008, 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 12-15, 20-44.)
Fisher commenced the present action by filing a complaint on September 20, 2010, seeking review of the Commissioner's determination. (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) The Commissioner filed an answer and a certified copy of the administrative transcript. (Dkt. Nos. 5, 7, 10.) Each party, seeking judgment on the pleadings, filed a brief. (Dkt. Nos. 12, 13.)
Fisher contends that the Commissioner's decision is not supported by substantial evidence or the appropriate legal standards. Specifically, Fisher claims the ALJ: (1) improperly rejected the hearing testimony of Aaron Satloff, M.D.; (2) incorrectly found that he could return to his past relevant work; and (3) failed to identify any medical opinion as the basis for her Residual Functional Capacity ("RFC") findings. (See Dkt. No. 12 at 7-21.) The Commissioner counters that substantial evidence supports the ALJ's decision.(See generally Dkt. No. 13.)
The evidence in this case is undisputed and the court adopts the parties' factual recitations. (See Dkt. No. 12 at 1-6; Dkt. No. 13 at 1-8.)
The standard for reviewing the Commissioner's final decision under 42 U.S.C. § 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. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., No. 1:05-CV-932, 2008 WL 759076, at *1-2 (N.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 2008).
Though Fisher claims the ALJ erred in three distinct ways, his third argument-regarding the ALJ's RFC assessment-is dispositive. (See Dkt. No. 12 at 7-21.) Because this error requires remand-which consequently will involve reconsideration of the medical evidence and Fisher's past ...