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Mosley v. Berryhill

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

March 28, 2017

JAMES B. MOSLEY
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL[1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security

          MEMORANDUM

          BARBARA D. HOLMES United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) to obtain judicial review of the final decision of the Social Security Administration (“Commissioner”) denying his claim for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), as provided under Title II of the Social Security Act (“the Act”). The case is currently pending on Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative record (Docket Entry No. 13), to which Defendant has responded (Docket Entry No. 18). Plaintiff has also filed a subsequent reply to Defendant's response (Docket Entry No. 19). This action is before the undersigned for all further proceedings pursuant to the consent of the parties and referral of the District Judge in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) (Docket Entry No. 22).

         Upon review of the administrative record as a whole and consideration of the parties' filings, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED and the decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and DIB on July 21, 2010. See Transcript of the Administrative Record (Docket Entry No. 10) at 70-71.[2] He alleged a disability onset date of February 1, 2008. AR 70-71.[3] Plaintiff asserted that he was unable to work due to blindness in the left eye, vision problems in the right eye, coronary artery disease, and headaches. AR 75, 79.

         Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. AR 70-74. Pursuant to his request for a hearing before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”), Plaintiff testified at a hearing before ALJ Marty S. Turner on February 15, 2012. AR 31. On April 23, 2012, the ALJ denied the claim. AR 15-17. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's decision on April 15, 2013 (AR 1-3), thereby making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. This civil action was thereafter timely filed, and the Court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         II. THE ALJ FINDINGS

         The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on April 23, 2012. AR 15. Based upon the record, the ALJ made the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2014.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 19, 2009, his amended alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: Vision loss, coronary artery disease, and status post history of blood clots (20 CFR 404.1520(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 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, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b). He can lift or carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently[, ] can sit, stand or walk up to 6 hours out of an 8-hour day with normal breaks, and is unlimited in his ability to push or pull. He can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and climb stairs or ramps, but never any ladders, ropes or scaffolds. He must avoid temperature extremes and exposure to workplace hazards such as moving machinery and unprotected heights. He is also limited to work that can be performed with monocular vision and that requires no more than occasional near acuity, occasional far acuity, occasional peripheral acuity and occasional depth perception.
***
6. The claimant is unable to perform any of his past relevant work as a shipping clerk, heavy equipment operator, furnace operator, machine maintenance mechanic, or computer operator (20 CFR 404.1565).
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7. The claimant was born on November 19, 1959 and was 49 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on his amended alleged disability onset date. The claimant subsequently changed age category to closely approaching advanced age three months later on November 19, 2009 (20 CFR 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because using the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant is “not disabled, ” whether or not he has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41 and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that he can perform (20 CFR 404.1569 and 404.1569(a)).
***
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from February 1, 2008, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g)).

AR 20-26.

         III. REVIEW OF THE RECORD

         The parties and the ALJ have thoroughly summarized and discussed the medical and testimonial evidence of the administrative record. Accordingly, the Court will discuss those matters only to the extent necessary to analyze the parties' arguments.

         IV. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

         A. ...


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