United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Northeastern Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kendell Chaffin 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 (Doc. No. 16), to which Defendant
has responded (Doc. No. 20).
review of the administrative record as a whole and
consideration of the parties' filings, Plaintiff's
motion (Doc. No. 16) is DENIED and the
decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED.
first filed applications for DIB and SSI on May 18, 2009,
with an alleged disability onset date of February 1, 2007, in
which he claimed that he was unable to work due to
depression, anxiety disorder, high blood pressure, diabetes,
“learning difficulties, ” and hypothyroidism.
(Doc. No. 10, Transcript of the Administrative Record at 19,
38-39.) Both applications were denied initially
and upon reconsideration. AR 107. Following an administrative
hearing, an administrative law judge (“ALJ”)
denied the claim. AR 19. The Appeals Council denied review of
the ALJ's unfavorable decision on April 26, 2012, at
which point Plaintiff filed suit in the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. AR 19.
The court affirmed the decision of the Commissioner on March
26, 2014. AR 19, 38-56.
again filed applications for DIB and SSI on June 6, 2012. AR
136-37. Similar to his first applications, Plaintiff alleged
a disability onset date of February 1, 2007 and again claimed
that he was unable to work due to depression, anxiety, high
blood pressure, and diabetes. AR 182.
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
AR 176-77. Pursuant to his request for an additional hearing
before an ALJ, he appeared with counsel and testified at a
hearing before ALJ Joan A. Lawrence on July 24, 2014. AR 57.
On November 12, 2014, the ALJ denied the claim. AR 16-18. On
April 5, 2016, 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. §
THE ALJ FINDINGS
issued an unfavorable decision on November 12, 2014, in which
she made 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 February 1, 2007, the alleged onset date. (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
hypothyroidism, hypertension, anxiety disorder, and
depressive disorder (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 he could occasionally
climb ladders, ropes and scaffolds and frequently climb ramps
and stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. He
should avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold
temperatures. He is capable of carrying out simple and
detailed one, two, and three step instructions.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a chicken hanger and box assembler. This work does not
require the performance of work-related activities precluded
by the claimant's residual ...