United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Northeastern Division
H. SHARP, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment
on the Administrative Record (Docket Entry No. 16). The
motion has been fully briefed by the parties.
filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to
obtain judicial review of the final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”)
denying Plaintiff's claim for disability insurance under
Title II and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”), as provided by the Social Security Act
(“the Act”). Upon review of the administrative
record as a whole and consideration of the parties'
filings, the Court finds that the Commissioner's
determination that Plaintiff is not disabled under the Act is
supported by substantial evidence in the record as required
by 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Plaintiff's motion will be
filed a Title II application for disability insurance and a
Title XVI application for Supplemental Security Income on
November 23, 2011, alleging disability as of September 24,
2011. (Tr. 151-161). The claims were denied at the initial
level on March 6, 2012 and on reconsideration on May 1, 2012.
(Tr. 89-96, 102-109). Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a written
Request for Hearing on June 8, 2012. (Tr. 110-111). A video
hearing was held on October 1, 2013. (Tr. 16). On March 4,
2014, the Administrative Law Judge issued a decision finding
that Plaintiff was not disabled. (Tr. 13-31). Plaintiff filed
a Request for Review of Hearing Decision on April 19, 2014.
(Tr. 12). The Appeals Council denied her request for review
on June 9, 2015. (Tr. 1-4). See (Docket Entry No. 17
at 1). This civil action was thereafter timely filed, and the
Court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
THE ALJ FINDINGS
issued an unfavorable decision on March 4, 2014. (AR p. 13).
Based upon the record, the ALJ made the following enumerated
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through September 30, 2011.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity, since September 24, 2011, the alleged onset date
(20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. and 416.971 et
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease and degenerative joint disease (20
CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526,
416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b). Specifically, the claimant is
able to lift and carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and 10
pounds frequently and stand, walk, and sit for 6 hours in an
8-hour day except that the claimant can perform unlimited
pushing/pulling (including hand and foot controls) within
external limitations. She can frequently climb, kneel,
crouch, and crawl. The claimant can occasionally perform
balancing and stooping. She has no manipulative, visual,
communicative, or environmental limitations.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a waitress and cleaner. This work does not require the
performance work-related activities precluded by the
claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from September 24, 2011, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f) and
(AR pp. 18-25).
REVIEW OF THE RECORD
following summary of the evidence of record is taken from
Plaintiff's brief, Docket Entry No. 17 at pp. 2, 10).
Pamela Pichey is a 42 year old woman with a 12th grade
education. (Tr. 44). She became unable to work on September
24, 2011 because of the following severe impairments: back
pain, migraines, anxiety, knee problems, and heart problems.
Ms. Pichey worked as a cook, house cleaner, factory laborer,
and in a restaurant. (Tr. 44). She stopped working in 2008
due to her combined impairments.
Pamela Pichey testified that she last worked in 2009 as a
housekeeper. She had to stop working due to back pain. She
had been diagnosed with scoliosis, disc issues, fluid on the
knees bilaterally, right elbow pain and migraines. She had
trouble standing more than 30 minutes at a time and had to
use a cane to ambulate. She rated her pain a 6 of 10.
Medications were used to ease her pain. She spends her days
lying down, doing housework, watching television and reading.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW