and note his reasons for rejecting Dr. Baumann's conclusion, even though
it was supported by Mr. McManus' opinion. Thus, this Court is required to
remand the matter to the ALJ with directions to explicitly consider and
note the effect of Dr. Baumann's conclusion.
Regarding the second reason for remand, the ALJ found plaintiff's
testimony to be nonpersuasive self-serving exaggeration. Plaintiff's
testimony covered his current activity level, the extent of his pain and
his mental capacity. Plaintiff's wife also testified regarding these
areas. The ALJ can reject subjective complaints after weighing them
against other evidence in the record and after considering the interest
and credibility of the witnesses. Prill v. Schweiker, 546 F. Supp. 1381,
1390 (N.D. Ill. 1982). However, the ALJ is required to provide a reason
for rejecting the probative evidence. Gronbeck v. Schweiker,
534 F. Supp. 642, 646 (D.So.Dakota 1982). In the instant case, the ALJ
evaluated plaintiff's testimony, and gave a reason for rejecting the
testimony. Yet, no mention is made of plaintiff's wife's testimony. The
ALJ did not comment on the credibility of plaintiff's wife or the effect
of her testimony, although his conclusion that plaintiff's nonexertional
limitations do not significantly affect his capacity for work would seem
to indicate he rejected it. The failure of the ALJ to provide an
evaluation of the wife's testimony and reasons for rejecting her
testimony require this Court to remand the matter to the ALJ with
directions to consider the testimony of plaintiff's wife and provide
reasons for rejecting her testimony.
Finally, regarding the third reason for remand, the ALJ's findings
indicate that plaintiff is unable to perform his past relevant work as
the president of a collection firm. This finding shifts the burden to the
Secretary to show that there exists some other form of gainful
substantial activity which plaintiff would be able to perform. Smith v.
Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare, 587 F.2d 857, 861 (7th Cir.
1978). To sustain this burden, the Secretary must consider plaintiff's
functional capacity as well as his age, education, work experience and
other relevant factors. This data is applied to a grid, in this case set
out in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, App. 2, Table No. 1, § 201.22,
which determines whether, in light of plaintiff's limitations, he would
be able to engage in any gainful activity and thus, whether plaintiff is
or is not disabled. Heckler v. Campbell, ___ U.S. ___, 103 S.Ct. 1952,
1957, 76 L.Ed.2d 66 (1983).
The conclusion reached through consultation of the grid is substantial
evidence upon which a benefits determination may be based. Id. However,
the determination suggested by the grid is not necessarily conclusive
where nonexertional limitations are relevant. The grid only takes into
account exertional limitations. Where nonexertional limitations are
involved, the ALJ must go beyond the grid and must make findings relating
to the severity of plaintiff's nonexertional limitations and the effects
of such limitations on plaintiff's residual functional capacity before
making a determination granting or denying benefits. Cummins v.
Schweiker, 670 F.2d 81, 84 (7th Cir. 1982).
In the instant case, the ALJ noted plaintiff's nonexertional
limitations but failed to make specific findings. The conclusory
statement of the ALJ that "[t]he claimant's nonexertional limitations do
not significantly affect his residual functional capacity for unskilled
sedentary work . . ." standing alone, is insufficient. Full and detailed
findings of fact are essential to the Secretary's decision and are
required. Lewin v. Schweiker, 654 F.2d 631, 634 (9th Cir. 1981). In the
instant case, nonexertional factors such as plaintiff's pain, memory and
judgment difficulties have been clearly raised as issues and such factors
must be specifically and explicitly considered to substantiate any
conclusion of the ALJ relating to the effects of such facts on his
residual capacity. Cannon v. Harris, 651 F.2d 513, 519 (7th Cir. 1981).
This is so even if the evidence relating to such factors does not support
a finding of disability.
Id. Thus, the failure of the ALJ to make specific findings in support of
the conclusion that plaintiff's nonexertional limitations do not affect
his functional capacity requires this Court to remand the matter to the
ALJ to further develop the record.
For the reasons stated herein, the parties' Motions for Summary
Judgment are denied and the plaintiff's Motion for Remand is granted. The
case is ordered remanded to the Secretary for further proceedings
consistent with this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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