The opinion of the court was delivered by: James E. Shadid United States District Judge
Friday, 24 June, 2011 02:25:20 PM
Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
This matter is now before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and the Commissioner's Motion for Summary Affirmance. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment [#9] is DENIED, and the Commissioner's Motion for Summary Affirmance [#11] is GRANTED.
Plaintiff, Brandon Buchanan ("Buchanan"), was 21 years old at the time of his administrative hearing. (R30) He is single with no children and lives with his dad. Id. He was home-schooled through high school and studied network systems in junior college for two years until the fall of 2008, but did not graduate. (R33) He did not receive any accommodations in college and drove himself to and from school. (R33-34) He has a valid Illinois driver's license and also drove himself an estimated thirty miles to the hearing. (R31) Buchanan has no relevant past work experience and was looking for employment at the time of the hearing. (R23, 31) Buchanan claims he is disabled due to Scheuermann's kyphosis and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. (R23) He testified that he has had multiple foot surgeries and weakened hand muscles that limit his motor skills. (R24, 25) He estimated he could not stand in place for over five minutes or sit for less than a minute before having to shift positions. (R25-27) On June 29, 2006, Buchanan applied for supplemental security income ("SSI"), alleging disability that began on May 17, 2006. The claim was denied both initially and upon reconsideration. Buchanan requested a hearing and appeared before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Peter Caras on June 11, 2009. A vocational expert ("VE"), Michelle Peters also appeared and testified.
At the time of the hearing, Buchanan was not taking any prescription pain medication and testified that he took over-the-counter pain medication as needed. (R30) He had not recently seen a doctor or chiropractor as he testified he has been uninsured since January 1, 2009. (R28) Buchanan explained that his typical day consisted of watching television and playing games or browsing the internet on his computer while sitting in a reclining chair with his feet elevated to hip level. Id. He testified that he no longer socializes with friends or engages in outdoor activity like camping or fishing. (R32)
The ALJ posed a hypothetical question to the VE:
Q: Ok. Sedentary work; no ladders, ropes, scaffolds; avoid concentrated exposure to unprotected heights, unprotected hazardous machinery; otherwise occasional climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling; alternate sit/stand every 30 minutes; mild or slight limitation with regards to fine and gross manipulation; and because of pain, let's look at attention or concentration of unskilled work. And I don't know if there's really much in the way of past work, is there?
Q: Okay. So what exists with that hypothetical claimant at sedentary?
A: Yes, Your Honor. There would be order clerking types of positions, Your Honor. Given that hypothetical in the region, it would be approximately that of 1,000 positions. There would be information clerking types of positions, Your Honor, in which there would be that of approximately that of 950 positions, as well as inspection types of positions, Your Honor, given that hypothetical of approximately that of 900 positions.
Q: All right. What about nationally, what kind of numbers will we be talking about --
A: On a statewide basis, for the order clerking position, you're looking at approximately that of 28,000 positions, Your Honor; the information clerking of approximately that of 25,000 positions, Your Honor; and the inspection position, on a ...