United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
THELMA J. LYNCH, Plaintiff,
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Thelma J. Lynch's Motion for Judgment
on the Administrative Record (Doc. No. 15), to which the
Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has
responded (Doc. No. 17.) Plaintiff did not file a reply to
the SSA's response. Upon consideration of the
parties' briefs and the transcript of the administrative
record (Doc. No. 12),  and for the reasons set forth below,
Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment will be DENIED and the
decision of the SSA will be AFFIRMED.
Magistrate Judge Referral
order to ensure the prompt resolution of this matter, the
Court will VACATE the referral to the Magistrate Judge.
filed an application for supplemental security income
(“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Social Security
Act on March 15, 2011, and an application for disability
insurance benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the
Social Security Act on March 22, 2011,  alleging
disability onset as of January 1, 2009, due to diabetes,
neuritis, asthma, high blood pressure and migraines. (Tr.
333.) Her claim to benefits was denied at the initial and
reconsideration stages of state agency review. Plaintiff
subsequently requested de novo review of her case by
an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”).
Plaintiff's case was heard on December 10, 2012, when
Plaintiff appeared with counsel and gave testimony. (Tr.
219-54.) Testimony was also received from an impartial
vocational expert (“VE”). (Id.) At the
conclusion of the hearing, the matter was taken under
advisement until February 1, 2013, when the ALJ issued a
written decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. (Tr.
196-214.) That decision contains the following enumerated
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through September 30, 2013.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since January 1, 2009, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The earnings record and the claimant's testimony
establish that the claimant has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity (SGA) since the alleged onset date.
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, 404.1526,
416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. [T]he claimant has the residual functional capacity (RFC)
to perform lifting and/or carrying of 50 pounds occasionally
and 10 pounds frequently; standing and/or walking of 2 hours,
30 minutes at one time, in an 8 hour workday; sitting of 7
hours in an 8 hour workday; occasional overhead reaching;
frequent other reaching; frequent postural activities;
occasional climbing of ladders and stairs; the avoidance of
concentrated exposure to fumes, dust, gases, irritating
inhalants, and temperature extremes; an ability to understand
and carry out detailed tasks and instructions; have
occasional interaction with the public; and have frequent
interaction with coworkers and supervisors.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was 49 years old (a younger individual age
18-49) on the alleged disability onset date. The claimant
subsequently changed age category to closely approaching
advanced age (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has a high school equivalence education and
is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and
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
82-41and 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 404.1569, 404.1569(a),
416.969, and 416.969(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from January 1, 2009, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).
(Tr. 198-99, 201, 208-09.)
April 24, 2014, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's
request for review of the ALJ's decision (Tr. 1-6),
thereby rendering that decision the final decision of the
SSA. This civil action was thereafter timely filed, and the
court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). If the
ALJ's findings are supported by substantial evidence
based on the record as a whole, then those findings are