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Dias v. Berryhill

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

March 31, 2017

MARY DIAS, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is Mary Dias' (“Dias”) Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (“Motion”) (Doc. No. 14), filed with a Memorandum in Support (Doc. No. 14-1). The Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) filed a Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. No. 15). This case was referred to the magistrate judge (Doc. No. 3). The Court withdraws that referral. In addition, upon consideration of the parties' filings and the transcript of the administrative record (Doc. No. 10), [1] and for the reasons given below, the Court will DENY Dias' Motion and DISMISS the Complaint.

         I. Introduction

         On March 1, 2011, Dias 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 December 31, 2009 (“alleged onset date”). (A.R. 17.) Dias' claim was denied at the initial and reconsideration stages of state agency review. (Id.) Dias subsequently requested de novo review of her case by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). (Id. at 97.) The ALJ heard the case on March 26, 2013, when Dias appeared with an attorney and gave testimony. (Id. at 32.) Testimony was also received from an impartial vocational expert. At the conclusion of the hearing, the matter was taken under advisement until May 17, 2013, when the ALJ issued a written decision finding Dias not disabled prior on the alleged onset date. (Id.) That decision contains the following enumerated findings:

1. Dias meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2009, the alleged onset date.
2. Dias 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. Dias has the following severe impairments: arthritis; left hand trigger finger and chronic hand pain secondary to Dupuytren's contracture (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. Since the alleged onset date, Dias 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), 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. Dias had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(b) and 416.967 (b) except she can occasionally lift and carry up to 20 pounds; frequently lift and carry up to 10 pounds; has no limitations in sitting or standing; no problems with the dominant right upper extremity, but can only engage in frequent pushing and pulling with the non-dominant left upper extremity within the weight limitations above; can only occasionally climb ramps and stairs; can frequently balance, stoop, crouch, kneel, and crawl; and has no manipulative limitations except with the non-dominant upper left extremity in which she can handle and finger (i.e. fine and gross manipulations) no more than frequently with the non-dominant left upper extremity.
6. Dias can perform past relevant work as a cashier and store manager. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by her RFC (20 C.F.R. 404.1565 ad 416.965).
7. Dias was not under a disability within the meaning of the Social Security Act at any time from April 2, 2006 through December 31, 2009, the date last insured (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(f) and 416.920(f)).

(Id. at 19-24.)

         On July 20, 2014, the Appeals Council denied Dias' request for review of the ALJ's decision, thereby rendering that decision the final decision of the SSA. (Id. at 1.) This civil action was thereafter timely filed, and the Court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         II. ...


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