United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, 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 a period of disability, Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”), as provided under Titles 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. 10), to which
Defendant has responded. Docket Entry No. 11. Plaintiff has
also filed a subsequent reply to Defendant's response.
Docket Entry No. 12.
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. 10) be DENIED.
filed applications for a period of disability, DIB, and SSI
on July 14, 2011. See Transcript of the
Administrative Record (Docket Entry No. 8) at
71-72. He alleged a disability onset date of July
15, 2010. AR 71-72. Plaintiff alleged that she was unable to
work because of lower back pain, an inner ear tumor, and
anxiety. AR 79.
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
AR 71-74. Pursuant to his request for a hearing before an
administrative law judge (“ALJ”), Plaintiff
appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ
Elizabeth P. Neuhoff on July 25, 2013. AR 27. On November 1,
2013, the ALJ denied the claim. AR 9-11. On February 27,
2015, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review of the ALJ's decision (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 on November 1, 2013. AR 9-11.
Based upon the record, the ALJ made the following enumerated
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through at least the date of this
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since July 15, 2009, the alleged onset date. (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative lumbar disk disease, depressive disorder not
otherwise specified and anxiety disorder not otherwise
specified (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 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. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(c) and 416.967(c). Specifically, he can lift and
carry 35 pounds occasionally, 20 pounds frequently, can stand
up to six hours total, can occasionally stoop and bend, and
cannot work around workplace hazards, such as unprotected
heights. He can understand and remember simple and detailed
1-4 step tasks, but cannot make independent decisions at an
executive level. He can sustain concentration and persistence
during an eight hour day with customary breaks, can interact
with the public, supervisors, and co-workers on a superficial
level, but would relate better to things than to people, and
could set goals and adapt to infrequent change. No reading
and writing should be a regular part of the job duties, such
as completing forms or paperwork.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant is a younger individual (20 CFR 404.1563 and
8. The claimant has a high school education (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 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 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 July 15, 2009, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).
12. The claimant's subjective complaints, including pain,
have been evaluated as required under the applicable
regulations and rulings.