United States District Court, N.D. New York
OF PETER M. MARGOLIUS Counsel for Plaintiff
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN. OFFICE OF REG'L GEN. COUNSEL -
REGION II Counsel for Defendant
L. KERSHNER, ESQ.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
William B. Mitchell Carter, U.S. Magistrate Judge.
matter was referred to me, for all proceedings and entry of a
final judgment, pursuant to the Social Security Pilot
Program, N.D.N.Y. General Order No. 18, and in accordance
with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Fed.R.Civ.P.
73, N.D.N.Y. Local Rule 73.1 and the consent of the parties.
(Dkt. Nos. 4, 16.)
before the Court, in this Social Security action filed by
William Arthur Brooks (“Plaintiff”) against the
Commissioner of Social Security (“Defendant” or
“the Commissioner”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3), are the parties'
cross- motions for judgment on the pleadings. (Dkt. Nos. 9,
14.) For the reasons set forth below, it is ordered that
Plaintiff's motion is denied and Defendant's motion
was born in 1962. (T. 67.) He received his GED. (T. 203.)
Generally, Plaintiff's alleged disability consists of
mental health impairments, back impairment, and shoulder
impairment. (T. 202.) His alleged disability onset date is
February 1, 2004. (T. 66.) His date last insured is September
30, 2006. (T. 198.) He previously worked as auto service
attendance and dairy farm worker. (T. 203.)
March 5, 2013, Plaintiff applied for a period of Disability
Insurance Benefits (“SSD”) under Title II, and on
March 21, 2013 for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) under Title XVI, of the Social Security
Act. (T. 65, 66.) Plaintiff's applications were initially
denied, after which he timely requested a hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge (“the ALJ”). On November
7, 2014, Plaintiff appeared before the ALJ, Robert Wright.
(T. 36-64.) On December 8, 2014, ALJ Wright issued a written
decision finding Plaintiff not disabled under the Social
Security Act. (T. 8-25.) On March 15, 2016, the Appeals
Council (“AC”) denied Plaintiff's request for
review, rendering the ALJ's decision the final decision
of the Commissioner. (T. 1-6.) Thereafter, Plaintiff timely
sought judicial review in this Court.
The ALJ's Decision
in his decision, the ALJ made the following five findings of
fact and conclusions of law. (T. 13-21.) First, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff met the insured status requirements through
September 30, 2006 and Plaintiff had not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since February 1, 2004. (T. 13.)
Second, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the severe
impairments of lumbar degenerative disc disease;
osteoarthritis of the bilateral shoulders, left greater than
right; anxiety disorder; and depressive disorder.
(Id.) The ALJ determined that from February 1, 2004
through September 30, 2006, Plaintiff had no medically
determinable impairments. (T. 13-14.) Third, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff did not have an impairment that meets or
medically equals one of the listed impairments located in 20
C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix. 1. (T. 15-16) Fourth,
the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the residual functional
capacity (“RFC”) to perform unskilled light
work; however, Plaintiff could frequently use
his upper extremities for fingering, feeling, and handling
and occasionally bend, stoop, crouch, crawl, kneel, balance,
climb stairs and ramps, reach overhead, and operate foot
controls. (T. 19-20.) Further, the ALJ determined that
Plaintiff could have occasional exposure to vibrations and
extremes of heat and cold, never work with unprotected
heights, ladders or scaffolds. (T. 20.) Fifth, the ALJ
determined that Plaintiff was incapable of performing his
past relevant work; however, there were jobs that existed in
significant numbers in the national economy Plaintiff could
perform. (T. 22-23.)
THE PARTIES' BRIEFINGS ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION