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Collier v. Berryhill

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

May 31, 2017

LAURA ANN COLLIER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY BERRYHILL, [1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

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

         Pending before the Court is Laura Ann Collier's 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. 17), to which Plaintiff replied (Doc. No. 18). On July 24, 2014, this case was referred to a Magistrate Judge. (Doc. No. 3.) The Court hereby withdraws that referral. In addition, upon consideration of the parties' filings and the transcript of the administrative record (Doc. No. 10), [2] and for the reasons stated herein, the Court denies Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. No. 14).

         I. Introduction

         Collier 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 on June 14, 2011, alleging a disability onset of June 1, 2008. (Tr. 11.) Collier's claim was denied at the initial and reconsideration stages of state agency review. (Tr. 56, 62.) Collier subsequently requested de novo review of this case by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). The ALJ heard the case on March 22, 2013, when Collier appeared with counsel and gave testimony. (Tr. 36-51.) Testimony was also received from an impartial vocational expert. At the conclusion of the hearing, the matter was taken under advisement until April 26, 2013, when the ALJ issued a written decision finding Collier not disabled. (Tr. 8-23.) That decision contains the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2012.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 1, 2008, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairment: bipolar disorder (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(c) and 416.920(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 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. After careful consideration of the entire record, … the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following nonexertional limitations: she could understand, remember, and carry out simple instructions, could perform routine tasks on a sustained basis with minimal to normal supervision, could work with co-workers, but would work better with minimal social interaction and with non-confrontational supervisors, and could adjust to infrequent changes at work.
6. The claimant is unable to perform past relevant work.
7. The claimant is a younger individual (20 C.F.R. 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and attended two years of college (20 C.F.R. 404.1564 and 416.964).
9. Transferability of job skill is not an issue because of the claimant's young age.
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 C.F.R. 404.1596, 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 June 1, 2008, through the date of this decision (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).
12. The claimant's subjective complaints have been evaluated as required under the applicable regulations and rulings.

(Tr. 13-14, 17-18.)

         On May 16, 2014, the Appeals Council denied Collier's request for review of the ALJ's decision (Tr. 1-5), thereby rendering that decision the final decision of the SSA. This civil action was thereafter ...


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