United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
H. SHARP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is the Plaintiff's Motion For Judgment
On The Administrative Record (Docket No. 8), to which the
Defendant has filed a Response. (Docket No. 9). For the
reasons set forth herein, the Plaintiff's Motion is
DENIED, and the decision of the Social Security
Administration is AFFIRMED.
Plaintiff filed an application for disability insurance
benefits under the Social Security Act claiming disability
based on a herniated disc in his back, and pain in his right
shoulder, neck, and right knee. (Administrative Record
(“AR”), at 42-43 (Docket No. 5)). The
Plaintiff's claim was denied at the initial review stage,
and also after the Plaintiff requested reconsideration. (AR,
at 42-45). The Plaintiff subsequently requested a hearing
before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”), and
the ALJ convened the hearing on September 19, 2011. (AR, at
Plaintiff appeared with counsel at the hearing, and testified
in support of his claim. (Id.) The ALJ issued a
written decision on October 7, 2011, finding that the
Plaintiff was not disabled. (Id.) In his decision,
the ALJ found as follows:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2012.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since November 18, 2007, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
bilateral knee osteoarthritis, right shoulder degenerative
joint disease, and lumbar degenerative disc disease (20 CFR
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 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find
that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform the full range of sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as an aircraft maintenance superintendent. This work does not
require the performance of work related activities precluded
by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from November 18, 2007, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404. 1520(f)).
(AR, at 16-19).
Appeals Council denied the Plaintiff's request for review
of the ALJ decision (AR, at 1-3), which became the final
decision of the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”). Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103,
107, 120 S.Ct. 2080, 2083, 147 L.Ed.2d 80 (2000). This
action, seeking review of that decision, has been timely
filed, and the Court has jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) to adjudicate it.
Review of the Record
Plaintiff testified at the hearing before the ALJ that he was
58 years old. (AR, at 29). According to the Plaintiff, he had
completed two years of college-level work, and had held a
license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration as an
aircraft mechanic. (Id., at 29-30). The Plaintiff
testified that he retired from 23 years of military service,
and then worked as an airline mechanic and in other jobs .
(Id., at 37-38). The Plaintiff explained that he
left aviation because he could not work on airplanes when
taking medication. (Id.)
his medical condition, the Plaintiff testified that he had
been diagnosed as having arthritis “all over the body,
” and that he has chronic back and knee pain.
(Id., at 30-31). The Plaintiff also testified that
he suffered from diabetes, blurred vision, and dizzy spells.
(Id.) According to the Plaintiff, as of the date of
the hearing, he had been using a cane to walk for the past 18
months, spent most of the day in bed, and was unable to
drive. (Id., at 32-35).
the Plaintiff testified, the ALJ stated that he did not have
any questions for the vocational expert who was present at
the hearing, and asked the Plaintiff's attorney if she