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Taylor v. Colvin

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

February 15, 2017

STEVEN MICHAEL TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          NEWBERN MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

          MEMORANDUM

          ALETA A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the court is Plaintiff Steven Michael Taylor's Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (“Motion”) (Docket No. 11), filed with a Memorandum in Support (Docket No. 12). Defendant Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) filed a Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion. (Docket No. 17.) Upon consideration of the parties' filings and the transcript of the administrative record (Docket No. 9), [1] and for the reasons given herein, the court will grant Plaintiff's Motion (Docket No. 11) 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 and in consideration of any new evidence.

         I. Introduction

         Taylor filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act on June 15, 2010 and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act on June 25, 2010, alleging a disability onset of June 15, 2010, due to seizures. (Tr. 177.) Taylor's claim was denied at the initial and reconsideration stages of state agency review. Taylor subsequently requested de novo review of his case by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). The ALJ heard the case on June 22, 2012, when Taylor appeared with counsel and gave testimony. (Tr. 63-85.) Testimony was also received from an impartial vocational expert. At the conclusion of the hearing, the matter was taken under advisement until August 22, 2012, when the ALJ issued a written decision finding Taylor not disabled. (Tr. 20-30.) That decision contains the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through June 30, 2012.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 15, 2012, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: osteoarthritis of the shoulder, osteoarthritis of the hips, degenerative disc disease, epilepsy/seizure disorder, status post-remote brain injury, and history of alcohol abuse (20 C.F.R. 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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, … that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(c) and 416.967(c) except that he can occasionally lift, push/pull, or carry up to 50 pounds; sit, stand, and/or walk for up to six hours each; should avoid all hazards due to his seizure disorder; can understand and carry out simple instructions; can maintain concentration, persistence, and pace for simple tasks for two hours at a time; can interact appropriately with others; and can adapt to infrequent changes.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a packer. This does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 C.F.R. 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from June 15, 2010, through the date of this decision (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g).

(Tr. 22-25, 29-30.)

         On October 10, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Taylor's request for review of the ALJ's decision (Tr. 1-2), thereby rendering that decision the final decision of the SSA. This civil action was thereafter timely filed, and the court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         II. ...


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