Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Serrano v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. New York

February 21, 2018

LUIS G. SERRANO, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          HONORABLE MICHAEL A. TELESCA United States District Judge.

         I. Introduction

         Represented by counsel, Luis G. Serrano (“Plaintiff”) instituted this action pursuant to Title XVI of the Social Security Act (“the Act”), seeking review of the final decision of the Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“the Commissioner”)[1] denying his application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). The Court has jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c).

         II. Procedural Status

         Plaintiff protectvely filed for SSI on March 12, 2012, alleging disability due to acute bronchial asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”), disruptive behavior disorder, and emotional and learning problems. The application was denied on September 10, 2012, and Plaintiff filed a written request for a hearing. On November 19, 2012, Administrative Law Judge Timothy J. Trost (“the ALJ”) conducted a hearing at which Plaintiff appeared pro se and testified. (T.33-48).[2] The ALJ did not call any witnesses.

         On May 2, 2014, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision. (T.9-32). Plaintiff's request for review by the Appeals Council was denied on November 2, 2015, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. Plaintiff timely commenced this action.

         III. The ALJ's Decision

         At the first step of the sequential evaluation, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the March 12, 2012 application date. At step two, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: history of bilateral wrist fractures requiring surgical repair, with residual bilateral wrist pain; history of left elbow fracture requiring surgical repair, with residual elbow pain; and dysthymic disorder. (T.17). 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 found in 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1 (“the Listings”). (T.19).

         The ALJ next assessed Plaintiff as having the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform sedentary work, with certain nonexertional limitations due to his mental impairments. (T.20-21). In particular, the ALJ found that Plaintiff could learn, remember, and carry out simple job functions; could concentrate on and attend to the duties of a job with occasional supervision; could make appropriate employment-related judgments; could respond to supervision and coworkers in usual job settings; and could deal with ordinary job-related stress.

         At the fourth step, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had no past relevant work. (T.26).

         At the fifth step, the ALJ considered Plaintiff's age (20 years-old on the application date), his limited education (completion of 10th or 11th grade), his ability to communicate in English, and his RFC. The ALJ determined that the transferability of job skills was not material, because the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App'x 2 (“the Grids”), supported a finding of “not disabled” whether or not Plaintiff had transferable job skills. (T.26). The ALJ then found that Plaintiff's additional limitations had little or no effect on the occupational base for unskilled sedentary work, and that Grids Rule 201.24 directed a finding of “not disabled.” (T.27).

         IV. Scope of Review

         A 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). The district court must accept the Commissioner's findings of fact, provided that such findings are supported by “substantial evidence” in the record. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (the Commissioner's findings “as to any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive”). “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) (quotation omitted). The reviewing court nevertheless must scrutinize the whole record and examine evidence that supports or detracts from both sides. Tejada v. Apfel, 167 F.3d 770, 774 (2d Cir. 1998) (citation omitted). “The deferential standard of review for substantial evidence does not apply to the Commissioner's conclusions of law.” Byam v. Barnhart, 336 F.3d 172, 179 (2d Cir. 2003) (citing Townley v. Heckler, 748 F.2d 109, 112 (2d Cir. 1984)).

         V. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.