The opinion of the court was delivered by: McDADE, District Judge.
Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Reversal
[Doc. # 13, Part 1] and Defendant's Motion to Affirm [Doc. # 14,
Part 1]. At issue is whether the ALJ properly applied the legal
standards for "continuing disability" reviews to the facts of
this case. See 42 U.S.C. § 423(f);
20 C.F.R. § 404.1594(f)(1)-(8). For the reasons stated below, the Court
REVERSES the Secretary's decision, and REMANDS this case for
rehearing. Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Reversal is GRANTED,
and the Defendant's Motion to Affirm is DENIED.
On October 22, 1987,*fn1 the Social Security Administration
(SSA) determined that Plaintiff, Ronald C. Mables, was disabled,
pursuant to 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1, § 1.11
(1991),*fn2 and entitled to disability benefits. (AR 13).*fn3
On August 2, 1989,*fn4 Plaintiff received notice that his
benefits were being terminated because his disability had ceased
according to the available medical evidence. (AR 13, 16,
70-72).*fn5 On February 23, 1990, at a hearing held before the
ALJ, Alan Wienman, Plaintiff appealed the decision by the
Secretary of Health and Human Services to terminate his benefits.
(AR 25-48). On August 10, 1990, the ALJ entered an Order, finding
that Plaintiff was no longer disabled because medical evidence
indicated improvement of Plaintiff's original impairments related
to his ability to do a "full-range of sedentary work"*fn6 for
which he was vocationally qualified. (AR 11-19). See Social
Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 416(i), 423(d), (f);
20 C.F.R. § 404.1594(f)(8) (1992). On October 3, 1990, Plaintiff requested a
review of the ALJ's decision. (AR 7). On March 27, 1991, the
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, (AR 4)
making the ALJ's decision a final judgment from which this appeal
Plaintiff Ronald C. Mables currently suffers from degenerative
arthritis in his left ankle, pain in his lower back, and an
alleged inability to sit or walk for prolonged periods of time.
(AR 15-16). Plaintiff is also unable to lift or carry more than a
few pounds, and he cannot climb, balance, stoop, crouch, kneel or
crawl. (AR 16). Plaintiff has manifested each of these problems
since August 1, 1989, (AR 25-48), the date Plaintiff was notified
that his disability insurance benefits were to be terminated. (AR
18). At issue is whether Plaintiff has a "continuing disability"
pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.1594(f)(1)-(8).
The standard of review for termination of disability benefits
is controlled by 42 U.S.C. § 423(f) which states:
42 U.S.C. § 423(f). Standard of review for
termination of disability benefits.
A recipient of benefits under this subchapter or
subchapter XVIII of this chapter based on the
disability of any individual may be determined not to
be entitled to such benefits on the basis of a
finding that the physical or mental impairment on the
basis of which such benefits are provided has ceased,
does not exist, or is not disabling only if such
finding is supported by —
(1) substantial evidence which demonstrates that —
(A) there has been any medical improvement in the
individual's impairment or combination of
impairments (other than medical improvement which
is not related to the individual's ability to
(B)(i) the individual is now able to engage in
substantial gainful activity. . . .
Any determination under this subsection shall be
made on the basis of all the evidence available in
the individual's case file, including new evidence
concerning the individual's prior or current
condition which is presented by the individual or
secured by the Secretary. Any determination made
under this section shall be made on the basis of the
weight of the evidence and on a neutral basis with
regard to the individual's condition, without any
initial inference as to the ...