United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
DARYL T. JONES, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
Clifford Shirley, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge.
case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
and the consent of the parties [Doc. 15]. Now before the
Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and
Memorandum in Support [Docs. 16 & 17] and the
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in
Support [Docs. 25 & 26]. Daryl T. Jones (“the
Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review of the decision of
the Administrative Law Judge (“the ALJ”), the
final decision of Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting
Commissioner of Social Security (“the
Commissioner”). For the reasons that follow, the Court
will DENY the Plaintiff's motion, and
GRANT the Commissioner's motion.
August 20, 2013, the Plaintiff filed an application for
supplemental security income (“SSI”), claiming a
period of disability which began February 28, 2003. [Tr. 123,
186]. After his application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration, the Plaintiff requested a hearing before an
ALJ. [Tr. 85]. A hearing was held before the ALJ on June 22,
2015. [Tr. 31-46]. During the hearing, the Plaintiff amended
his alleged onset date to August 20, 2013. [Tr. 33]. On
August 21, 2015, the ALJ found that the Plaintiff was not
disabled. [Tr.14-30]. The Appeals Council denied the
Plaintiff's request for review. [Tr. 1-6]. Thus, the
ALJ's decision became the final decision of the
exhausted his administrative remedies, the Plaintiff filed a
Complaint with this Court on June 16, 2016, seeking judicial
review of the Commissioner's final decision under Section
405(g) of the Social Security Act. [Doc. 1]. The parties have
filed competing dispositive motions, and this matter is now
ripe for adjudication.
made the following findings:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since August 20, 2013, the application date (20 CFR
416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
dysfunction - major joints; chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease; and affective disorders (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
3. 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 416.920(d)), 416.925 and 416.926).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 416.967(b) except standing and walking four hours;
sitting six hours; no ropes, ladders, or scaffolds; overhead
reaching occasionally, bilaterally; no concentrated exposure
to fumes or other respiratory irritants; no exposure to
hazards; and simple unskilled.
5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 416.965).
6. The claimant was born on August 10, 1963 and was 50 years
old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching
advanced age, on the date the application was filed (20 CFR
7. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. 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).
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 ...