to use hand tools, to work in cooperation with other people, and also a degree of fine finger dexterity. The vocational expert testified that these skills are not transferable to any medium jobs that have the restrictions of no climbing ladders, no working at heights or no constant overhead lifting. He testified, however, that there are jobs in the light category with the same restrictions. Dr. Fitts next stated a number of jobs that fit within these parameters: components inspector; transformer tester; electrical salesman in a hardware store; and condensor alignor. Finally, the expert testified that these jobs do exist in the region where plaintiff lives. Dr. Fitts added that in light of plaintiff's advanced age, he would have a difficult time finding work as employers are reluctant to hire people who will work for only a short period of time. The ALJ properly dismissed this testimony, however, as being not relevant to the requirements of the Act. (See 404.1566(a)(3)).
In light of the medical evidence proffered and the testimony of Dr. Fitts, the ALJ found that the plaintiff is capable of performing light jobs. Following the guidelines of Rule 202.03 of Table No. 2, Appendix 2, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled.
The decision of the ALJ excludes evidence offered by Mr. Howard of light-headedness and dizziness. Mr. Howard testified that when he engages in any type of physical labor he experiences chest pains, dizziness and light-headedness. Mr. Howard further testified that the dizziness has become so severe at times that he has blacked out. This testimony by the claimant was not given due consideration despite the statement by the Third Circuit in Dobrowolsky v. Califano, 606 F.2d 403, 409 (1979), that a claimant's "testimony as to his capabilities is entitled to substantial credibility," where the claimant has a lifetime record of continuous work.
Moreover, plaintiff's allegations of dizziness are corroborated by the results of the stress test. Mr. Howard was unable to complete the test, designed to test his cardiac capacity, because he was unable to sustain a sufficient exertional level. Dr. Fish noted that during the test Mr. Howard experienced a drop in his blood pressure. Dr. Fish opined that this contributes to the claimant's light-headedness, which may in turn be disabling.
The question of plaintiff's light-headedness was not addressed by the second ALJ, who limited himself exclusively to the issue of plaintiff's residual functional capacity. The first ALJ who heard the case considered Mr. Howard's allegations of light-headedness, but afforded them little credibility. He based his rejection of Mr. Howard's testimony as to his dizziness in part on the fact that the claimant also testified that he is able to drive a car. The ALJ reasoned that anyone who suffers from dizzy spells would be unable to operate a motor vehicle. However, in arriving at this conclusion, the ALJ failed to appreciate the precipitating factor which triggers the symptoms complained of by claimant. The claimant testified that the light-headedness was triggered by physical labor which is not approximated by operating an automobile. Therefore, the fact that claimant may drive a vehicle is not dispositive on the credibility of plaintiff's testimony as to his physical symptoms. Mr. Howard testified that he becomes dizzy when he exerts himself, which exertion would be expected were he to return to work full time.
Additionally, in considering Mr. Howard's testimony that he is only able to work for a short period of time before he needs a rest, it is important to consider the vocational expert's testimony to the effect that the jobs Mr. Howard would otherwise be eligible to do would not be available to him if he could not work a regular eight hour day. When considering whether the claimant can return to work, it must be remembered that "the ability to engage in substantial gainful employment . . . means more than the ability to do certain of the mental and physical acts required in the job; the claimant must be able to sustain the activity through continuous attendance in a regular work-week." Id., at 408 (citing Nanny v. Mathews, 423 F. Supp. 548 (E.D. Va. 1976)).
Accordingly, this matter shall be remanded to the Secretary in order to more fully develop the record. On remand the Secretary is requested to consider the allegations made by Mr. Howard discussed herein. Further, the Secretary should consider how these allegations would impact on Mr. Howard's ability to return to work. This action is hereby remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
This matter having come before the court on appeal by plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), and the court having considered the record below and the submissions of both parties and for good cause shown;
It is on this 29th day of July 1987,
ORDERED that his matter be remanded to the Secretary for further proceedings in accordance with this court's opinion filed even date herewith.
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