United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D. HOLMES, United States Magistrate Judge
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 period of disability, Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”), and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) as provided under Title 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 (Docket Entry No. 12), to which
Defendant has filed a response. Docket Entry No. 14.
review of the administrative record as a whole and
consideration of the parties' filings, the Court
recommends that Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the
administrative record (Docket Entry No. 12) be
GRANTED, the decision of the Commissioner be
REVERSED, and this matter be
REMANDED for further administrative
proceedings consistent with this Report.
filed an application for a period of disability, DIB, and SSI
on July 9, 2012. See Transcript of the
Administrative Record (Docket Entry No. 8) at
108-09. She alleged a disability onset date of
September 1, 2011. AR 108-09. Plaintiff asserted that she was
unable to work because of migraines, right foot surgeries,
depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder
(“PTSD”). AR 150, 154.
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
AR 108-09, 142-43. Pursuant to her request for a hearing
before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”),
Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing
before ALJ Scott C. Shimer on April 29, 2014. AR 38. The ALJ
subsequently denied the claim on August 22, 2014. AR 6-8. The
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of
the ALJ's decision on November 24, 2015 (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. § 405(g).
THE ALJ FINDINGS
issued an unfavorable decision and made the following
enumerated findings based upon the record:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through March 31, 2014.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since September 1, 2011, the alleged onset date. (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: history
of foot surgery; migraine headaches; status post left distal
radius fracture; obesity; depression; and
anxiety/posttraumatic stress disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and
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, I find
that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except that the claimant has nonexertional
limitations. Specifically, she can perform occasional pushing
and pulling with the right lower extremity. In addition, the
claimant can frequently balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl,
and climb ramps and stairs. The claimant cannot climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. The claimant can perform
frequent handling and grasping with the left, non-dominant
upper extremity. The claimant also can perform simple,
routine, and repetitive tasks. She can perform low-level
detailed tasks, but she cannot make independent decisions at
an executive level. The claimant is limited to jobs that
require no contact with the general public and require only
occasional contact with coworkers and supervisors.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on December 17, 1970 and was 40
years old, which is defined as a younger individual age
18-49, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563
8. The claimant has a limited 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 ...