United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
H. SHARP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on
the Administrative Record (Docket No. 15). For the reasons
stated herein, Plaintiff's Motion is DENIED, and the
decision of the Social Security Administration is AFFIRMED.
a civil action for judicial review of the Social Security
Administration's denial of benefits to Plaintiff Johnny
Parker on October 4, 2012. Plaintiff filed a Title II
application for disability and a Title XVI application for
supplemental security income on February 9, 2011. In both
applications, he alleged disability beginning on July 1,
2006. The Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) denied both applications. Thereafter,
Plaintiff filed a written request for a hearing, and an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) held a hearing
on September 20, 2012. The ALJ determined that Plaintiff was
not disabled under the Social Security Act. Administrative
Record (“AR”), found at Docket No. 11, p.
heard testimony from the Plaintiff and from Melissa Neal, a
vocational expert. Plaintiff testified that he last worked in
2006 as a truck driver. He left because he had a DUI which
revoked his license and because his feet “got to
bothering” him. AR, pp. 38-39. He testified that he was
capable of driving, but his license was still suspended. AR,
pp. 41-42. He stated that he works on old cars for a hobby,
and he was still able to do that, as long as he was not
standing up very much. AR, p. 43. He testified that he tore
down engines and rebuilt them. AR, p. 44.
told the ALJ that his feet bother him a lot when he is
standing up, and after about two hours, he has to find a
place to sit down. AR, p. 46. He stated that, if he did not
sit down, both feet swelled up. Id. He testified
that he could sit for about 30 minutes before he had to stand
up, and he could walk for about ten minutes before he had to
sit down. AR, p. 49. He said that his worst pain was in his
feet, particularly his left foot, and that he had that pain
all the time. Id. at 52-53. Plaintiff testified that
he did not do grocery shopping, but he was able to do his own
laundry, cook, and mow grass with a self-propelled push
mower. AR, p. 54. He stated that he also had pain in his
right shoulder daily from a broken collar bone. AR, pp.
vocational expert answered three hypothetical questions from
the ALJ. As relevant to this case on appeal, the vocational
expert testified that a person of Plaintiff's age,
education and work experience who could continuously lift up
to 20 pounds, continuously carry up to 10 pounds,
occasionally lift or carry 21-20 pounds and frequently lift
or carry 11 to 20 pounds, stand six hours total, walk five
hours total, and sitt eight hours total, occasionally reach
overhead with the right upper extremity, frequently reach or
push/pull with the right hand, continuously perform all other
activities with both hands, occasionally climb, crouch or
crawl, frequently stoop or kneel and continuously balance
could perform Plaintiff's past work, so long as he did
not have to do significant lifting and carrying. She stated
that the record showed that Plaintiff's actual past work
did not involve lifting or carrying - he was mainly driving
the truck. AR, pp. 63-65. Also, with these stipulations, she
testified that there are other jobs in the economy which the
person could perform, including a carrier, transporter, and
sweeper. AR, p. 65.
claimant bears the ultimate burden of establishing an
entitlement to benefits by proving his “inability to
engage in 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
12 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). The
claimant's physical or mental impairment must result from
anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities
which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and
laboratory diagnostic techniques. 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(3).
determining disability, the SSA and the ALJ consider a
five-step sequential evaluation process. The Sixth Circuit
has described these five steps as:
(1) A claimant who is engaging in substantial gainful
activity will not be found to be disabled regardless of
(2) A claimant who does not have a severe impairment will not
be found to be disabled.
(3) A finding of disability will be made without
consideration of vocational factors if a claimant is not
working and is suffering from a severe impairment which meets
the duration requirement and which meets or equals a listed
impairment in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of the Regulations.
Claimants with lesser impairments proceed to step four.
(4) A claimant who can perform work that he has done in the
past will not be found to be disabled.
(5) If a claimant cannot perform his past work, other factors
including age, education, past work experience, and residual
functional capacity must be considered to determine if other
work can be performed.
Cruse v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 502 F.3d 532, 539
(6th Cir. 2007).
in this case made the ...