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Lherisson v. Berryhill

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

January 3, 2018

EMANYEL JOSEPH LHERISSON, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY BERRYHILL, [1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          Honorable Aleta A. Trauger, United States District Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOE B. BROWN United States Magistrate Judge

         Pending before the court is the pro se Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative record (Docket Entry No. 18), to which Defendant Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) filed a response (Docket Entry No. 19). Upon consideration of the parties' filings and the transcript of the administrative record (Docket Entry No. 12), [2] and for the reasons given herein, the Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative record be DENIED and that the decision of the Commissioner be AFFIRMED.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff, Emanyel Joseph Lherisson, filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II and an application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act on August 30, 2012, alleging disability onset as of July 26, 2012, due to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, attention deficit disorder. (Tr. 16, 266-67, 273, 292, 295). Plaintiff's claims were denied at the initial level on December 20, 2012, and on reconsideration on March 20, 2013. (Tr. 124-25, 135-36, 145, 155-57, 168). Plaintiff subsequently requested de novo review of her case by an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). (Tr. 174-77). The ALJ heard the case on March 19, 2015, when Plaintiff appeared with counsel and gave testimony. (Tr. 16, 47-91, 95).[3] Testimony was also received by a vocational expert. (Tr. 89, 92-95). At the conclusion of the hearing, the ALJ referred Plaintiff to undergo a physical consultative examination. On August 11, 2015, at Plaintiff's request, the ALJ conducted a supplemental hearing where Plaintiff again appeared with counsel and gave testimony. (Tr. 16, 100, 110-13, 342). Testimony was received by a different vocational expert. (Tr. 16, 105-110, 113-14). The matter was taken under advisement until September 25, 2015, when the ALJ issued a written decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. (Tr. 13-25). That decision contains the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of Title II of the Social Security Act through September 30, 2013.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 26, 2012, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: obesity, uncontrolled hypertension resulting in chronic kidney disease and congestive heart failure (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(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, 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). Specifically he is able to lift and carry 20 pounds on occasion and ten pounds frequently. He can sit 6 hours total; stand 2 hours total and walk 2 hours total. He can continuously use both hands and feet. He can never climb ladders, ropes and scaffolding and can occasionally perform all other postural activities. He should have no exposure to extremes of temperature, unprotected heights, moving mechanical parts, humidity, pulmonary irritants, and vibrations.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant is a younger individual (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has a high school equivalent education and attended two semesters of college (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 82-41and 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. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from July 26, 2012, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).
12. The claimant's subjective complaints have been evaluated as required under the applicable regulations and rulings.

(Tr. 18-20, 22-24).

         On October 18, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's decision (Tr. 6-10), thereby rendering that decision the final decision of the Commissioner. This civil action was thereafter ...


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