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Selby v. Berryhill

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

September 11, 2017

NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security,[1] Defendant.



         Pending before the Court in this Social Security action is Paul Anthony Selby's Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (Doc. No. 12), to which the Commissioner of Social Security has responded (Doc. No. 13). Upon consideration of these filings and the transcript of the administrative record (Doc. No. 10), [2] and for the reasons given below, Selby's motion for judgment will be DENIED and the decision of the Commissioner will be AFFIRMED.

         I. Statement of the Case

         Selby filed applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act on September 30, 2010, alleging disability onset as of January 1, 2009, due to back and hip problems. (Tr. 12, 138.) Tennessee Disability Determination Services denied Selby's claims upon initial review and again following his request for reconsideration. Selby subsequently requested de novo review of his case by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). The ALJ heard the case on July 23, 2012, when Selby appeared with counsel and gave testimony. (Tr. 27-43.) A vocational expert also testified at the hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the ALJ took the matter under advisement until August 21, 2012, when he issued a written decision finding Selby not disabled. (Tr. 12-21.) That decision contains the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 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 claimant has the following severe impairments: degenerative joint disease of the left hip and lumbar radiculopathy (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) except the claimant is unable to bend, stoop, or squat frequently. The claimant is unable to operate foot controls on a frequent basis. The claimant is unable to handle excessive vibrations. The claimant is unable to work around heights or moving, dangerous machinery.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on October 11, 1959 and was 49 years old, which is defined as 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 at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
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 January 1, 2009, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).

(Tr. 14, 16, 19-20.)

         On September 24, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Selby's request for review of the ALJ's decision (Tr. 1-3), rendering that decision final. This civil action seeking review was timely filed on November 20, 2013. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         II. Statement of the Facts

         The following record review is taken from the Government's brief (Doc. No. 13, PageID# 292-96):[3]

         A. Medical ...

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