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Jones v. Berryhill

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

March 7, 2017

REBA JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          Frensley Magistrate Judge

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION

          KEVIN H. SHARP, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Reba Jones (“Jones”) Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (“Motion”) (Doc. No. 17), filed with a Memorandum in Support (Doc. No. 18). Defendant Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) filed a Response in Opposition to Jones' Motion (Doc. No. 21). This case was referred to Magistrate Judge Frensley, but the Court hereby withdraws that referral. In addition, upon consideration of the Parties' filings and the transcript of the administrative record (Doc. No. 11), [1] and for the reasons given below, the Court will DENY Jones' Motion.

         I. Introduction

         On June 20, 2012 Jones filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act, alleging a disability onset of April 20, 2012. (A.R. 174.) Jones' claim was denied at the initial and reconsideration stages of state agency review. Jones subsequently requested de novo review of his case by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). The ALJ heard the case on September 30, 2013, when Jones appeared, was represented by an attorney, and gave testimony. (Id. at 39.) Testimony was also received from an impartial vocational expert. At the conclusion of the hearing, the matter was taken under advisement until October 25, 2013, when the ALJ issued a written decision finding Jones not disabled. (Id. at 21.) That decision contains the following enumerated findings:

1. Jones meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2017.
2. Jones has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. Jones has the following severe impairments: status post bilateral carpal tunnel release surgeries; learning disability; and depressive disorder (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. Jones 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. Jones has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to lift 10 pounds occasionally and frequently; stand and/or walk six hours in an eight-hour day; sit up to six hours; occasionally climb ramps and stairs; occasionally balance, kneel, stoop, crouch, and crawl; frequently but not constantly handle and finger with the bilateral upper extremities; and perform simple tasks in which reading and writing are not essential. However, she should avoid climbing ladders, ropes, and scaffolds and other heights and hazards and should work in a setting where changes in the workplace are infrequent and gradually introduced.
6. Jones is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 C.F.R. 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. Jones was born on January 13, 1967 and was 45 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 45-49, on the alleged disability onset date (20 C.F.R. 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. Jones has a marginal education and is able to communicate in English (20 C.F.R. 404.1564 and 416.964).
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in this case because Jones' past relevant work is unskilled (20 C.F.R. 404.1568 and 416.968).
10. Considering Jones' age, education, work experience and RFC, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that she can perform (20 C.F.R. 404.1569, 404.1569(a), 416.969, 416.969(a)).
11. Jones has not been under a disability within the meaning of the Social Security Act from April 20, 2012 through the date of this decision ...

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