United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
Honorable Aleta A. Trauger, District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D. HOLMES United States Magistrate Judge
filed this action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) to obtain judicial review
of the final decision of the Social Security Administration
(“Commissioner”) denying Plaintiff's claim
for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) as provided
under Title II and XVI of the Social Security Act (“the
Act”). The case is currently pending on Plaintiff's
motion for judgment on the administrative record (Docket
Entry Nos. 25, 26),  to which Defendant has filed a response
(Docket Entry No. 27).
review of the administrative record as a whole and
consideration of the parties' filings, the undersigned
Magistrate Judge respectfully recommends that Plaintiff's
motion for judgment on the administrative record (Docket
Entry Nos. 25, 26) be DENIED.
filed an application for DIB and SSI on October 11, 2011.
See Transcript of the Administrative Record (Docket
Entry No. 12) at 74-77. He alleged a disability onset date of
May 1, 2010. AR 74-75. Plaintiff asserted that he was unable
to work because of a neck injury, shoulder injury, and heart
problems. AR 82-83.
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
AR 74-77. Pursuant to his request for a hearing before an
administrative law judge (“ALJ”), Plaintiff
appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ
Elizabeth P. Neuhoff on March 20, 2014. AR 34. On May 15,
2014, the ALJ denied the claim. AR 11-13. The Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's
decision on August 5, 2015 (AR 1-3), thereby making the
ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.
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 May 15, 2014. AR 11. Based
upon the record, the ALJ made the following enumerated
1. The claim meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2010.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since May 1, 2010, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant had the following medically determinable
impairments through the date last insured for Title II
purposes: asthma, a cervical spine disorder with a history of
cervical spine fusion, and a history of supraventricular
tachycardia (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)). However,
none of these impairments was “severe” within the
meaning of the Regulations prior to or at the time of the
date last insured.
4. The claimant now has the following severe impairments: a
history of asthma that is now diagnosed as chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, a cervical spine disorder with
a history of cervical spine fusion, supraventricular
tachycardia, dysthymic disorder, and a history of
polysubstance abuse in remission (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and
5. 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).
6. 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, he can lift or
carry 20 pounds on occasion and 10 pounds frequently. He can
sit, stand, or walk 6 hours total each and he is limited to
occasional climbing of ladders, ropes, and scaffolds and can
frequently perform all other postural activities; is limited
to frequent overhead reaching and frequent forceful gripping
with either upper extremity; is limited to frequent
repetitive neck motion, such as turning and twisting of the
neck; must avoid concentrated exposure to extremes of
temperature, along with fumes, odors, gases, and poor
ventilation, such that it might be considered a pulmonary
irritant, and to hazards in the workplace such as unprotected
heights or moving machinery; is able to understand, remember
and perform simple and lower-level detailed (1-3 step) tasks,
but cannot make independent decisions at an executive level;
is able to maintain concentration, persistence, and pace for
simple tasks, along with low-level detailed tasks (but not
higher level multi-step detailed) without significant
difficulty with customary breaks; is able to interact
appropriately with the general public, coworkers and
supervisors and is able to set limited goals and adapt to
infrequent change within the work place.
7. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
8. The claimant was born on July 3, 1968 and was 41 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date. The claimant has remained
such an individual throughout the period in question (20 CFR
404.1563 and 416.963).
9. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
10. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is “not disabled, ” whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41
and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
11. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 404.1569, 404.1569(a),
416.969 and 416.969(a)).
12. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from May 1, 2010, through the
date of this decision ...