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.

Ogle v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville

February 14, 2017

PATRICIA ANN OGLE, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

         This case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the Rules of this Court, and the consent of the parties [Doc. 16]. Now before the Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 17 & 18] and the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 19 & 20]. The Plaintiff also filed a Reply Memorandum [Doc. 23]. Patricia Ann Ogle (“the Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review of the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“the ALJ”), the final decision of the Defendant Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“the Commissioner”).

         On April 20, 2012, the Plaintiff filed an application for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income (“SSI”), claiming a period of disability which began April 9, 2012. Her claim of disability was based on “nerves, depression, hypertension, chest pain and colon problems” [Doc. 236]. After her application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, the Plaintiff requested a hearing. On May 15, 2014, a hearing was held before the ALJ to review the determination of Plaintiff's claim [Doc. 24-45].

         After the hearing the ALJ secured the following additional evidence in the case: (1) consultative exam by Jeffrey Uzzle, M.D., on September 10, 2014; (2) consultative exam by Ellen Denny, Ph.D., on August 28, 2014; and (3) a vocational interrogatory, consisting of nine questions and answers, from Susan Thomas, vocational expert. The ALJ provided this evidence to the Plaintiff and her representative of record, Ken Butler, and properly advised the Plaintiff of her right to respond and/or submit to the ALJ written questions to be sent to Dr. Uzzle, Dr. Denny, or Ms. Thomas [Tr. 301-302; 309-310]. The Plaintiff responded by letter to the ALJ as to the exams by Dr. Uzzle and Dr. Denny [Tr. 304]. The Plaintiff responded by letter to the ALJ as to the interrogatory answers by Ms. Thomas. The Plaintiff requested that two additional “hypothetical” interrogatories be posed to Ms. Thomas which incorporate physical limitations found by Dr. Uzzle [Tr. 312]. The ALJ, however, did not submit Plaintiff's requested interrogatory to Ms. Thomas, although she acknowledged receipt of the request in her Decision [Doc. 17].

         On February 2, 2015, the ALJ found that the Plaintiff was not disabled, because the Plaintiff could perform her past relevant work as a housekeeper [Tr. 10-18]. The Appeals Council denied the Plaintiff's request for review [Tr. 1-3]; thus, the decision of the ALJ became the final decision of the Commissioner.

         The Court has considered the medical evidence in the record, the testimony at the hearings, and all other evidence in the record. The medical history of the Plaintiff and the content of the ALJ's Decision are not in dispute, and need not be repeated here.

         I. DISABILITY ELIGIBILITY

         This case involves an application for SSI benefits. To qualify for SSI benefits, an individual must file an application and be an “eligible individual” as defined in the Act. 42 U.S.C. § 1382(a); 20 C.F.R. § 416.202. An individual is eligible for SSI benefits on the basis of financial need and either age, blindness, or disability. See 42 U.S.C. § 1382(a).

         “Disability” is “the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.” 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(A); 20 C.F.R. § 416.905(a). A claimant will only be considered disabled if:

his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy, regardless of whether such work exists in the immediate area in which he lives, or whether a specific job vacancy exists for him, or whether he would be hired if he applied for work.

42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(B); see also 20 C.F.R. § 4015.905(a).

         Disability is evaluated pursuant to a five-step analysis summarized as follows:

         1. If claimant is doing substantial gainful activity, he is not disabled.

2. If claimant is not doing substantial gainful activity, his impairment must be severe before he can be found to be disabled.
3. If claimant is not doing substantial gainful activity and is suffering from a severe impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least twelve months, and his impairment meets or equals a listed ...

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.