MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff brought this action under Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act (Act), which incorporates 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), for a reversal of the decision of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), defendant in this action, denying plaintiff's claim for Disability Benefits under Title II of the Act.
Plaintiff Maynor incurred a back injury in March of 1979. He applied for disability benefits, but his applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. A hearing de novo was held before an administrative law judge (ALJ), who concluded that plaintiff is not disabled. The Appeals Council affirmed the ALJ's decision which then became the final decision of the Secretary.
Issues Presented on Appeal
Plaintiff's complaint and motion for summary judgment asserts four grounds for reversal. For clarification, they are:
1. The Secretary's decision erroneously failed to evaluate plaintiff's claim under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(f) (2) and 20 C.F.R. § 404.1562;
2. The Secretary's decision erroneously finds plaintiff capable of performing light work;
3. The decision is based on a misapplication of the Medical-Vocational Guidelines;
4. Plaintiff was denied his due process rights because he did not receive a full and fair hearing.
The Court carefully considered plaintiff's arguments and the defendant's cross-motion for a judgment of affirmance. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants plaintiff's motion for reversal with remand to the Secretary for a rehearing.
1. The Secretary's Finding, that Plaintiff's Claim is not Actionable Under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(f) (2), is not Supported by Substantial Evidence.
The ALJ decided the issue of disability under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a). Under Section 1520(a), the ALJ considered the claimant's current work activity, the severity of physical and mental impairments, the claimant's residual functional capacity, and age, education and work experience to determine eligibility for disability benefits. The ALJ expressly found that plaintiff is not currently employed, is unable to perform his past work as a construction laborer, but that plaintiff retained a residual functional capacity to do light work. He also found that plaintiff is a person approaching advanced age, has a marginal education, is able to perform unskilled work, and that plaintiff does not have any non-exertional limitations. The ALJ applied these findings to the Medical-Vocational Guidelines in 20 C.F.R. Appendix 2, Table No. 2, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4, and therein found that Rule 202.10 directed a decision that plaintiff is not disabled. (Tr. at 20-21.)
Plaintiff argues that 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(f) (2), which establishes special standards for determining disability of persons who have a long work history limited to arduous unskilled physical labor, should have been applied in this instance. The ALJ found that plaintiff is not disabled under Section 1520(f). (Tr. at 21.)
The findings of the Secretary as to any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Substantial evidence means "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Davis v. Heckler, 566 F. Supp. 1193, 1195 (D.D.C. 1983) (citing Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 28 L. Ed. 2d 842, 91 S. Ct. 1420 (1971)). The Court concludes that the Secretary's finding is not supported by substantial evidence.
Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(f) (2) provides:
If you have only a marginal education, and long work experience (i.e., 35 years or more) where you only did arduous unskilled physical labor, and you can no longer do this kind of work, we use a different rule (see § 404.1562).
Under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1562,
If you have only a marginal education and work experience of 35 years or more during which you did arduous unskilled labor, and you are not working and are no longer able to do this kind of work because of severe impairments, we will consider you unable to do lighter work, and therefore, disabled. . . .