STEVEN J. McAULIFFE, District Judge.
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3), claimant, Keith Arsenault, moves to reverse or vacate the Commissioner's decision denying his application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 423, and Supplemental Security Income Benefits under Title XVI of the Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381-1383c. The Commissioner objects and moves for an order affirming her decision.
For the reasons discussed below, claimant's motion is granted, and the Commissioner's motion is denied.
I. Procedural History.
In 2010, claimant filed concurrent applications for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income, alleging that he had been unable to work since September 21, 2009. That application was denied and claimant requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ").
In May of 2011, claimant, his attorney, and a vocational expert appeared before an ALJ, who considered claimant's application de novo. Three weeks later, the ALJ issued her written decision, concluding that claimant retained the residual functional capacity to perform the physical and mental demands of a range of sedentary work, including his past relevant work as a semiconductor assembler. In the alternative, the ALJ concluded that there is a significant number of jobs in the national economy that claimant can perform. Accordingly, the ALJ determined that claimant was not disabled, as that term is defined in the Act, at any time prior to the date of her decision.
Claimant then sought review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals Council, which denied his request for review. Accordingly, the ALJ's denial of claimant's application for benefits became the final decision of the Commissioner, subject to judicial review. Subsequently, claimant filed a timely action in this court, asserting that the ALJ's decision is not supported by substantial evidence and seeking a judicial determination that he is disabled within the meaning of the Act. Claimant then filed a "Motion for Order Reversing Decision of the Commissioner" (document no. 8). In response, the Commissioner filed a "Motion for Order Affirming the Decision of the Commissioner" (document no. 12). Those motions are pending.
II. Stipulated Facts.
Pursuant to this court's Local Rule 9.1, the parties have submitted a statement of stipulated facts which, because it is part of the court's record (document no. 10), need not be recounted in this opinion. Those facts relevant to the disposition of this matter are discussed as appropriate.
Standard of Review
I. "Substantial Evidence" and Deferential Review.
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the court is empowered "to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing." Factual findings and credibility determinations made by the Commissioner are conclusive if supported by substantial evidence. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c)(3). See also Irlanda Ortiz v. Secretary of Health & Human Services , 955 F.2d 765, 769 (1st Cir. 1991). Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB , 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938). It is something less than a preponderance of the evidence, so the possibility of drawing two inconsistent conclusions from the evidence does ...