United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
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. 12]. Now before the
Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and
Memorandum in Support [Docs. 10 & 11] and the
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in
Support [Docs. 13 & 14]. Lisa Gail Graybeal (“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 GRANT IN PART the Plaintiff's
motion, and DENY the Commissioner's
February 8, 2013, the Plaintiff filed an application for
disability insurance benefits and supplemental security
income benefits pursuant to Title II and XVI of the Social
Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-403, 1381-1385,
claiming a period of disability that began on May 1, 2011.
[Tr. 194-202]. After her application was denied initially and
upon reconsideration, the Plaintiff requested a hearing
before an ALJ. [Tr. 149]. A hearing was held on June 19,
2015. [Tr. 39-67]. On September 4, 2015, the ALJ found that
the Plaintiff was not disabled. [Tr. 20-38]. The Appeals
Council denied the Plaintiff's request for review [Tr.
1-6], making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
exhausted her administrative remedies, the Plaintiff filed a
Complaint with this Court on September 15, 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 meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since May 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:
fibromyalgia (although not diagnosed by a specialist);
hypertension[;] degenerative disc disease of the lumbar
spine; obesity; and depression (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, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b). She can lift/carry 10 pounds
frequently, 20 pounds occasionally; sit/stand/walk 6 hours
out of an 8-hour day; and would need a sit/stand option for
30-45 minutes. She could occasionally climb ramps, stairs,
balance, and stoop, kneel, and crouch; and never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, or crawl. She would need to
avoid concentrated exposure to hazards. She would need to
have only simple, routine, tasks, in that she could apply
common sense understanding to carry out oral, written and
diagrammatic instructions. She would need low stress jobs,
with few changes in the work setting and no executive level
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on July 30, 1971 and was 39 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and
8. The claimant has a high school 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 404.1569, 404.1569(a),
416.969, and 416.969(a)).
11. Thus, the undersigned finds that the claimant has not
been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security
Act, from May 1, 2011, through the date of this decision ...