United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
BRANDON W. SMITHSON, Plaintiff
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant
Honorable Aleta A. Trauger, District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KING, MAGISTRATE JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
filed a complaint seeking judicial review, pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 405(g), of the final decision of the
Commissioner denying his claim for Social Security disability
benefits. Docket 1. The Commissioner filed an electronic copy
of the administrative record. Docket 12. Plaintiff filed his
Motion for Judgment on the Record, along with a supporting
memorandum of law. Docket 51. The Commissioner responded in
opposition. Docket 53. The matter is ripe for determination.
September 5, 2017, the Court referred the matter to the
undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 631 and 636 and Administrative Order No. 24.
Section 631 authorizes designation of magistrate judges to
serve in districts adjoining the district for which they were
appointed. Administrative Order No. 24 was entered on June
12, 2017, and signed by the Chief Judges for the Middle
District of Tennessee and the Western District of Kentucky.
Section 636 authorizes magistrate judges to submit reports
and recommendations to district judges on any
the administrative law judge's (ALJ's) decision was
supported by substantial evidence and was in accord with
applicable legal standards, the RECOMMENDATION will be to
DENY Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Record
(Docket 51); AFFIRM the Commissioner's final decision;
and DISMISS Plaintiff's complaint.
August 2011, Plaintiff filed an application for Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) benefits pursuant to Title XVI of the
Social Security Act.
February 2014, the ALJ issued the Commissioner's final
decision denying Plaintiff's disability claim pursuant to
the familiar five-step sequential evaluation process.
the ALJ found that Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since August 2011. ALJ's decision,
administrative record (AR), p. 49.
the ALJ found that Plaintiff suffers from the following
severe, or vocationally significant, impairments: Emphysema;
carpal tunnel; cognitive disorder; posttraumatic stress
disorder; depression; obstructive sleep apnea; degenerative
disc disease of the cervical spine; tinnitus; obesity;
neuropathy. AR, p. 49.
the ALJ found that none of these impairments satisfies the
medical criteria of any impairment listed in Appendix 1 of
the regulations. AR, p. 49.
required in all cases that advance beyond Step 3, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(RFC), finding that his impairments limit him to light work
with the following additional, non-exertional restrictions:
“[C]laimant would need to avoid concentrated exposure
to pulmonary irritants and moderate noise; claimant would be
limited to detailed instructions; claimant could maintain
concentration, persistence and pace for two hours at a time;
can interact appropriately with others and can adapt to
infrequent changes; can frequently lower and raise an object,
twist, turn and perform frequent repetitive hand/finger
action.” AR, p. 51.
the ALJ found that Plaintiff is not disabled in light of the
vocational expert's (VE's) testimony that an
individual of Plaintiff's age, education, prior work
experience, and RFC would be able to perform Plaintiff's
past relevant work as an automobile sales person and motor
home sales person. Decision at AR, p. 54 referring to
testimony at AR, pp. 36-40.
Plaintiff was found to be “not disabled” at Step
4, the ALJ did not advance the evaluation to the fifth and
general Order in this case required that Plaintiff articulate