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02/23/73 Santos Reyes v. the Secretary of Health

February 23, 1973

SANTOS REYES

v.

THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 1973.CDC.50



Mr. Justice Clark,* of the Supreme Court of the United States, and MacKinnon and Robb, Circuit Judges.

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT

APPELLATE PANEL:

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MACKINNON

Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge MACKINNON.

MACKINNON, Circuit Judge:

This action was instituted by claimant-appellee Reyes in the District Court pursuant to section 205(g) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(g)) for review of the final decision of the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare denying him certain Social Security benefits. The District Court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and thereby reversed that administrative determination. *fn1 This appeal by the Secretary followed.

In 1968, claimant applied for child's disability insurance benefits under section 202(d)(1)(ii) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402(d)(1)(ii))2 which provides for an award of benefits to an individual who is the son of and dependent upon an old-age beneficiary, if such individual is under a disability which began before he attained the age of eighteen. Claimant's application was denied by the Social Security Administration initially on April 14, 1969 (Tr. 38-39) and again on reconsideration on July 25, 1969 (Tr. 47-48). Claimant then requested review by a Hearing Examiner (Tr. 16-17).3 The Hearing Examiner found that the medical evidence indicated, without clinical findings, that claimant had received some treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis in 1933 or 1934 (when he was 11 or 12), but that the disease apparently had been inactive or nonexistent thereafter until 1964 when it was detected and treated (Tr. 13-14). Accordingly the Hearing Examiner found that claimant's impairment was not of such severity before age 18 as to prevent him from engaging in substantial gainful work and denied his application (Tr. 14-15). Claimant then sought review of the Hearing Examiner's decision by the Appeals Council (Tr. 9-11) and, upon reconsideration of the entire record, the Appeals Council affirmed the Hearing Examiner's decision and this became the final decision of the Secretary on December 30, 1969 (Tr. 8). This action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ensued and resulted in a reversal of this administrative decision from which the Secretary now appeals.

Claimant, a resident of the Philippines, was born October 25, 1922 and is the unmarried son of a Social Security old-age beneficiary. As such he is eligible for the benefits in question if he "is under a disability (as defined in section

For purposes of section 202(d), under which appellee asserts his claims, the term "disability" is exhaustively defined in section 223(d) of the Act:

(d) Same; disability.

(1) The term "disability" means --

inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months; . . .

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1)--

an individual . . . shall be determined to be under a disability only if his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy, regardless of whether such work exists in the immediate area in which he lives, or whether a specific job vacancy exists for him, or whether he would be hired if he applied for work. For purposes of the preceding sentence (with respect to any individual), "work which exists ...


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