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King v. Berryhill

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

September 6, 2017

KEISHA KING
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner of Social Security[1]

          MEMORANDUM

          BARBARA D. HOLMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff 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 Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), as provided under Title 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. 15), to which Defendant has responded. Docket Entry No. 19. Plaintiff has also filed a subsequent reply to Defendant's response. Docket Entry No. 20. This action is before the undersigned for all further proceedings pursuant to the consent of the parties and order of the District Judge in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Docket Entry Nos. 22-23.

         Upon review of the administrative record as a whole and consideration of the parties' filings, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED and the decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff filed an application for SSI on January 14, 2010. See Transcript of the Administrative Record (Docket Entry No. 12) at 47.[2] She alleged a disability onset date of January 1, 2008. AR 47. Plaintiff alleged that she was unable to work because of depression, panic attacks, and scoliosis. AR 48.[3]

         Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. AR 47-50. Pursuant to her request for a hearing before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”), Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ Richard W. Gordon on April 19, 2012. AR 32. On April 25, 2012, the ALJ denied the claim. AR 7-9. On July 5, 2013, 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).

         II. THE ALJ FINDINGS

         The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on April 25, 2012. AR 7-9. Based upon the record, the ALJ made the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 14, 2010, the application date (20 CFR 416.971 et seq.).
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2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: scoliosis of the lumbar spine, lumbar strain, morbid obesity, a major depressive disorder and a bipolar disorder (416.920(c)).
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3. 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 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
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4. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a reduced range of unskilled sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(a). Specifically, I find the claimant is limited to frequent postural activity with occasional climbing, performing simple one and two-step tasks which are routine and repetitive, and with no more than occasional contact with the general public.
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5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).
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6. The claimant was born on August 14, 1984 and was 25 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.963).
7. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in this case because the claimant's past relevant work is unskilled (20 CFR 416.968).
9. 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 ...

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