Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Delacotera v. Colvin

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

January 17, 2017

JACK FROST DELACOTERA, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          Trauger Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOE B. BROWN United States Magistrate Judge

         To The Honorable Aleta A. Trauger, United States District Judge

         Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Plaintiff seeks judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) terminating the Plaintiff's disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-434. (Doc. 16). For the following reasons, the Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS that the Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative record (Doc. 16) be GRANTED to the extent that the case is REVERSED AND REMANDED pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for consideration under the appropriate burden of proof.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         This is a cessation of benefits case. The SSA initially awarded the Plaintiff disability benefits effective March 18, 1999. (Doc. 14, p. 123).[1] As of June 14, 2010, the SSA determined the Plaintiff continued to be disabled. (Doc. 14, p. 95). Revisiting the Plaintiff's disability status on May 15, 2014, the SSA found the Plaintiff's disability had ceased in May 2014. (Doc. 14, p. 96). This decision was confirmed upon reconsideration. (Doc. 14, p. 98). At the Plaintiff's request, an administrative hearing took place on June 23, 2015. (Doc. 14, pp. 63-92). The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision (Doc. 14, pp. 46-61), and the Appeals Council declined to review the ALJ's decision (Doc. 14, pp. 1-4). Thereafter, the Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court. (Doc. 1). The matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge pursuant to Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B). (Doc. 5). The Plaintiff moved for judgment on the administrative record (Doc. 16), to which the Defendant responded (Doc. 17), and the Plaintiff replied (Doc. 18). The matter is ripe for resolution.

         II. THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION

         As the Plaintiff was most recently adjudicated disabled on June 14, 2010, that date was deemed the comparison point decision (“CPD”). (Doc. 14, p. 51). Up through May 1, 2014, the Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity. (Doc. 14, p. 51). While the Plaintiff suffered from listed impairments at the time of the CPD, the ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff no longer suffered from a listed impairment. (Doc. 14, p. 51). As a result, the ALJ opined that medical improvement related to the Plaintiff's ability to work had occurred. (Doc. 14, p. 51). Though the Plaintiff's impairments had medically improved, they were still severe. (Doc. 14, p. 52). The Plaintiff had no past relevant work to consider. (Doc. 14, p. 55). Finding that the Plaintiff only suffered from non-exertional limitations, was a younger individual, and had a limited education, the ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff could perform a significant number of jobs in the national economy. (Doc. 14, pp. 54-55). Based on this finding, the ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff's disability ended as of May 1, 2014. (Doc. 14, p. 55).

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Upon review of the Commissioner's disability decision, this Court considers two questions: (1) whether the Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial evidence and (2) whether the proper legal criteria were applied to the Commissioner's decision. Miller v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 811 F.3d 825, 833 (6th Cir. 2016) (quoting Blakley v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 581 F.3d 399, 405 (6th Cir. 2009)). Even where a decision is supported by substantial evidence, it may not be upheld if the Commissioner's procedural violations materially prejudiced a claimant or deprived the claimant of a substantial right. Brantley v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 637 F. App'x 888, 894 (6th Cir. 2016) (quoting Rabbers v. Comm'r Soc. Sec. Admin., 582 F.3d 647, 651 (6th Cir. 2009)).

         B. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS

         1. INITIAL REVIEW FRAMEWORK

         On initial review of an application for disability benefits, the Commissioner engages in a five-step evaluation. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a), 416.920(a). First, if the claimant is engaged in substantial gainful activity, he is not disabled. Id. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(i), 416.920(a)(4)(i). Second, the claimant is not disabled if he does not have a severe medically determinable impairment that meets duration requirements. Id. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(ii), 416.920(a)(4)(ii). Third, the claimant is presumed disabled if he suffers from a listed impairment, or its equivalent, for the proper duration. Id. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iii), 416.920(a)(4)(iii). Fourth, the claimant is not disabled if based on his residual functional capacity (“RFC”) he can perform past relevant work. Id. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iv), 416.920(a)(4)(iv). Fifth, if the claimant can adjust to other work based on his RFC, age, education, and work experience, he is not disabled. Id. ยงยง 404.1520(a)(4)(v), 416.920(a)(4)(v). ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.