United States District Court, W.D. New York
JONATHAN W. ANDRISANI, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
DECISION AND ORDER
MICHAEL A. TELESCA United States District Judge.
by counsel, Jonathan W. Andrisani (“plaintiff”)
brings this action pursuant to Titles II and XVI of the
Social Security Act (“the Act”), seeking review
of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
(“the Commissioner”) denying his applications for
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and
supplemental security income (“SSI”). The Court
has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). Presently before the Court are the
parties' cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings
pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. For the reasons discussed below, the
Commissioner's motion is granted.
record reveals that in November 2013, plaintiff protectively
filed applications for DIB and SSI, alleging disability as of
October 24, 2012. After his applications were denied,
plaintiff requested a hearing, which was held before
administrative law judge Grenville Harrop, Jr. (“the
ALJ”) on June 3, 2014. The ALJ issued an unfavorable
decision on September 19, 2014. The Appeals Council denied
review of that decision and this timely action followed.
The ALJ's Decision
the ALJ found that Plaintiff met the insured status
requirements of the Act through December 31, 2014. At step
one of the five-step sequential evaluation, see 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520, 416.920, the ALJ found that plaintiff
had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October
24, 2012, the alleged onset date. At step two, the ALJ found
that plaintiff had the severe impairment of mood disorder. At
step three, the ALJ found that plaintiff did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled a listed impairment.
proceeding to step four, the ALJ found that plaintiff
retained the residual functional capacity (“RFC”)
to perform a wide range of medium work, with nonexertional
limitations including a “mild impairment . . . in
performing complex tasks independently, making appropriate
decisions, and relating adequately with others.” T. 14.
At step four, the ALJ found that plaintiff had no past
relevant work. At step five, the ALJ found that considering
plaintiff's age, education, work experience, and RFC,
jobs existed in the national economy which plaintiff could
perform. Accordingly, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not
district court may set aside the Commissioner's
determination that a claimant is not disabled only if the
factual findings are not supported by “substantial
evidence” or if the decision is based on legal error.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g); see also Green-Younger v.
Barnhart, 335 F.3d 99, 105-06 (2d Cir. 2003).
“Substantial evidence means ‘such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.'” Shaw v. Chater,
221 F.3d 126, 131 (2d Cir. 2000).
Failure to Develop the Record
contends that the ALJ failed to fully develop the record.
Specifically, plaintiff argues that the ALJ (1) failed to
obtain treatment records from plaintiff's treating
counselor, LMSW Leslie Tebo; and (2) failed to obtain
clarification of illegible records provided by
plaintiff's treating nurse practitioner, NP Gerald
Frisicaro. For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds
that the ALJ did not fail to properly develop the record.
regulations provide that although a claimant is generally
responsible for providing evidence upon which to base an RFC
assessment, before the Administration makes a disability
determination, the ALJ is “responsible for developing
[the claimant's] complete medical history, including
arranging for a consultative examination(s) if necessary, and
making every reasonable effort to help [the claimant] get
medical reports from [the claimant's] own medical
sources.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1545, 416.945
(citing 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1512(d) through (f);
§ 416.912(d) through (e)). “Even though the ALJ
has an affirmative obligation to develop the record, it is
the plaintiff's burden to furnish such medical and other
evidence of disability as the Secretary may require.”
Long v. Bowen, 1989 WL 83379, *4 (E.D.N.Y. July 17,
1989) (internal citations omitted).