United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
KIMBERLY J. AGEE
NANCY A. BERRYHILLActing Commissioner of Social Security
The Honorable Kevin H. Sharp, Chief District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D. HOLMES, United States Magistrate Judge
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 Plaintiff's claim
for period of disability, Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”), and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) as provided under Title II and XVI 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. 20), to which
Defendant has filed a response (Docket Entry No. 24).
Plaintiff has also filed a subsequent reply to
Defendant's response (Docket Entry No. 29), to which
Defendant has filed a surreply (Docket Entry No. 33).
review of the administrative record as a whole and
consideration of the parties' filings, the undersigned
Magistrate Judge respectfully recommends that Plaintiff's
motion for judgment on the administrative record (Docket
Entry No. 20) be GRANTED, the decision of
the Social Security Administration be
REVERSED, and this matter be
REMANDED for further administrative
proceedings consistent with this Report.
filed an application for SSI on May 1, 2008 and filed an
application for a period of disability and DIB on May 5,
2008. See Transcript of the Administrative Record
(Docket Entry No. 8) at 76-77. She alleged a disability onset
date of June 14, 2007, which was later amended to January 1,
2010. AR 26, 28, 76-77. Plaintiff asserted that she was
unable to work because of back pain and kidney stones, and
later claimed that she suffered from depression. AR 52-53,
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
AR 78-79, 84, 94-99. Pursuant to her request for a hearing
before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”),
Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing
before ALJ Roy J. Richardson on June 11, 2010. AR 35. The ALJ
subsequently denied the claim. AR 23-25. The Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of the
ALJ's decision on July 20, 2012 (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).
THE ALJ FINDINGS
issued an unfavorable decision and made the following
enumerated findings based upon the record:
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 January 1, 2010, the amended onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease, morbid obesity, and depression (20
CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR
404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to lift/carry 10 pounds occasionally. The
claimant would be unable to lift/carry any objects
frequently, stand/walk more than 5 hours in an 8-hour
workday, and bend/twist. The claimant would be able to sit 8
hours in an 8-hour workday. The claimant would be able to
understand, remember, and carry out routine step instructions
and respond appropriately to supervisors and coworkers in
jobs that do not require independent decision making.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on August 5, 1968 and was 38 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on
the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
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 the claimant 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 the claimant can perform (20 CFR ...