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Stanford v. Social Security Administration

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

October 20, 2017

GUY WILLIAM STANFORD, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          ALETA A. TRAUGER, JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Norah McCann King, United States Magistrate Judge.

         This is an action instituted under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying plaintiff's application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits. This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (Doc. No. 14)(“Motion for Judgment”) and Memorandum in Support (Doc. No. 15), Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (Doc. No. 16), and the administrative record (Doc. No. 11).[1] For the following reasons, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that the Motion for Judgment be DENIED, that the decision of the Commissioner be AFFIRMED, that this action be DISMISSED, and that final judgment be entered pursuant to Sentence 4 of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         Introduction

         Plaintiff filed his application for benefits in December 2013, alleging that he has been disabled since August 1, 2012, as a result of irritable bowel syndrome (“IBS”), PTSD, sleep apnea/insomnia, and traumatic brain injury. Tr. 146, 212. The application was denied initially and on reconsideration and Plaintiff requested a de novo hearing before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). On January 12, 2016, Plaintiff, represented by counsel, appeared and testified at that hearing, as did Ernest W. Brewer, Ph.D., who testified as a vocational expert. Tr. 32-56.

         In a decision dated February 5, 2016, the ALJ held that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act from his alleged date of onset through the date of the administrative decision. That decision became the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security when the Appeals Council declined review on May 5, 2016.

         This action was thereafter timely filed. This Court has jurisdiction over the matter. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         The Findings and Conclusions of the ALJ In her decision, the ALJ made the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 1, 2012, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: chronic fatigue syndrome, glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, hearing loss, obstructive sleep apnea, mood disorder, N.O.S., and post-traumatic stress disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(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 and 404.1526).
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) except that he can lift and or carry 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently; sit for six hours total in an eight-hour workday; stand and/or walk for six hours total in an eight-hour workday; never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds; avoid all exposure to hazards, such as machinery and heights. He must work around moderate noise due to tinnitus and hearing loss. He has monocular vision, no limitation out of the left eye. He can understand and carry out simple and detailed one to three step instructions and tasks. He can maintain concentration, persistence and pace for two hours at a time over an eight-hour workday. He can interact occasionally with co-workers and supervisors, but should not work directly with the general public. He can adapt to infrequent changes in the workplace.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work in housekeeping. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from August 1, 2012, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(1)).

Tr. 14, 16, 25.

         Plaintiff's ...


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