Hurt v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 86-5483

Decision Date24 April 1987
Docket NumberNo. 86-5483,86-5483
Citation816 F.2d 1141
Parties, Unempl.Ins.Rep. CCH 17,355 Jerry R. HURT, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Defendant-Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit

Harold M. Streets, Greenville, Ky., for plaintiff-appellant.

Alexander Taft, U.S. Atty., Louisville, Ky., James H. Barr, Barbra Murley Harris, for defendant-appellee.

Before ENGEL and GUY, Circuit Judges; and PECK, Senior Circuit Judge.

PER CURIAM.

Plaintiff, Hurt, appeals from the Secretary's decision denying social security disability benefits. His alleged disability stems from a serious motorcycle accident which occurred on January 27, 1982. There is no real medical dispute about either the nature or extent of his injuries. Further, it is undisputed that he has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 27, 1982. He suffers from a severe impairment and he cannot perform his past relevant work. The administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that Hurt had the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work and then applied the grids (20 C.F.R., Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2, Table No. 1, Rules 201.24 and 201.25) to reach his conclusion of not disabled.

Upon review, we conclude that this case must be remanded as we find the application of the grids to have been improper under these facts and we also raise, but do not decide, the issue of the applicability of the listing of impairments found in 20 C.F.R., Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.

I.

Although there are a plethora of social security disability cases and appeals, there continues to be confusion concerning the application of the medical-vocational guidelines commonly known as the "grids." 20 C.F.R. Sec. 404.1501, et seq. It is frequently stated that the grids determine disability or non-disability. This is misleading if not actually erroneous. As this court stated in Kirk v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 667 F.2d 524 (6th Cir.1981), cert. denied, 461 U.S. 957, 103 S.Ct. 2428, 77 L.Ed.2d 1315 (1983):

When the claimant does indeed match one of the grid's patterns, then all the grid does is announce that substantial gainful work in the national economy is available for that particular individual; in other words, once a finding is made that the individual can do light work, for example, the grid operates to declare that light work is available.

667 F.2d at 535. Thus, the grids are a shortcut that eliminate the need for calling in vocational experts. They tell us nothing, however, about the degree of disability and what the residual functional capacity of an individual might be. Because of this very limited function of the grids, we held in Kirk that "if the characteristics of the claimant do not identically match the description in the grid, the grid is used only as a guide to disability determination." 667 F.2d at 528 (emphasis added). Kirk also teaches that "the grid specifically disclaims an ability to predict disability when nonexertional limitations are the focus of a claimant's impairment." Id. at 528. Lastly, Kirk commands "that the grid only applies if the individual is capable of performing a wide range of jobs at the designated level--i.e., sedentary, light or medium." Id. at 529.

When these principles are applied to the facts here, it appears that the application of the "sedentary work grid" was erroneous because Hurt cannot perform the full range of sedentary work. We need only consider one of his medical problems-his fractured left arm which at the time of the hearing left him in a condition where he had a poor to incomplete grasp and could lift no more than five pounds. He would thus be severely limited insofar as sedentary jobs requiring bilateral manual dexterity are concerned. 1

We note also that although the inability to lift over five pounds may be an exertional limitation, the loss of manipulative capacity is a nonexertional limitation. 20 C.F.R., Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 2, Sec. 200.00(e). Under such circumstances the Secretary's regulations provide:

(2) However, where an individual has an impairment or combination of impairments resulting in both strength limitations and nonexertional limitations, the rules in this subpart are considered in determining first whether a finding of disabled may be possible based on the strength limitations alone and, if not, the rule(s) reflecting the individual's maximum residual strength capabilities, age, education, and work experience provide a framework for consideration of how much the individual's work capability is further diminished in terms of any types of jobs that would be contraindicated by the nonexertional limitations. Also, in these combinations of nonexertional and exertional limitations which cannot be wholly determined under the rules in this Appendix 2, full consideration must be given to all of the relevant facts in the case in accordance with the definitions and discussions of each factor in the appropriate sections of the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
25 cases
  • Sisco v. Berryhill
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Tennessee
    • June 13, 2017
    ...(6th Cir. 2010). "[T] he grids are a shortcut that eliminate the need for calling in vocational experts." Hurt v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 816 F.2d 1141, 1142 (6th Cir.1987). "Normally, where a claimant suffers from an impairment limiting only his strength (i.e., exertional limitatio......
  • Feild v. Apfel
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Tennessee
    • December 31, 1998
    ...commonly known as the "grid", are shortcuts which eliminate the need for calling vocational experts. Hurt v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 816 F.2d 1141, 1142 (6th Cir.1987). When the claimant does indeed match one of the grid's patterns, then all the grid does is announce that su......
  • Wood v. Saul
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Kentucky
    • April 21, 2021
    ...on the testimony of a vocational expert. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1566(e), 416.966(e); Born, 923 F.2d at 1174; Hurt v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 816 F.2d 1141, 1143 (6th Cir. 1987) ("[I]f the characteristics of the claimant do not identically match the description in the grid, [then] the grid......
  • Wohler v. Saul
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Ohio
    • March 31, 2020
    ...the individual can do light work, for example, the grid operates to declare that light work is available.Hurt v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 816 F.2d 1141, 1142-43 (6th Cir. 1987) (quoting Kirk v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 667 F.2d 524 (6th Cir.1981), cert. denied, 461 U.S. 957 (1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
4 books & journal articles
  • Case survey
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Bohr's Social Security Issues Annotated - Volume I
    • May 4, 2015
    ...calling vocational experts.” Field v. Apfel , 34 F. Supp.2d 1081, 1090 (W.D. Tenn. 1998), citing Hurt v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs ., 816 F.2d 1141, 1142 (6th Cir. 1987). The Grids direct that if a claimant’s condition does not exactly fit the Grid’s description, the Grid is inapplicabl......
  • Table of cases
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Social Security Issues Annotated. Vol. II - 2014 Contents
    • August 3, 2014
    ...§§ 210.5, 210.8, 1107.11 Hurd v. Astrue , 621 F.3d 734 (8th Cir. Sept. 13, 2010), 8th-10 Hurt v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs ., 816 F.2d 1141, 1142 (6th Cir. 1987), § 107.3 Huston v. Bowen , 838 F.2d 1125, 1131-32 (10th Cir. 1988), 10th-04, §§ 204.3, 205.2, 205.10, 1205, 1208.5 Hutchi......
  • Sequential evaluation process
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Social Security Issues Annotated. Vol. I - 2014 Contents
    • August 2, 2014
    ...calling vocational experts.” Field v. Apfel , 34 F. Supp.2d 1081, 1090 (W.D. Tenn. 1998), citing Hurt v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs ., 816 F.2d 1141, 1142 (6 th Cir. 1987). The Grids direct that if a claimant’s condition does not exactly fit the Grid’s description, the Grid is inapplicab......
  • Table of Cases
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Bohr's Social Security Issues Annotated - Volume II
    • May 4, 2015
    ...§§ 210.5, 210.8, 1107.11 Hurd v. Astrue , 621 F.3d 734 (8th Cir. Sept. 13, 2010), 8th-10 Hurt v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs ., 816 F.2d 1141, 1142 (6th Cir. 1987), § 107.3 Huston v. Bowen , 838 F.2d 1125, 1131-32 (10th Cir. 1988), 10th-04, §§ 204.3, 205.2, 205.10, 1205, 1208.5 Hutchi......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT