Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McCarter v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville

January 8, 2018

MARTHA E. MCCARTER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge

         This 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. 20]. Now before the Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 17 & 18] and the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 23 & 24]. Martha E. McCarter (“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 the Plaintiff's motion, and DENY the Commissioner's motion.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On November 8, 2010, 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 October 8, 2008. [Tr. 200-10]. After her application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, the Plaintiff requested a hearing before an ALJ. [Tr. 119]. A hearing was held on January 19, 2012. [Tr. 28-41]. On July 27, 2012, the ALJ found that the Plaintiff was not disabled. [Tr. 81-94]. The Appeals Council granted the Plaintiff's request for review, finding that vocational expert testimony was necessary. [Tr. 99-101]. The case was remanded to the ALJ for “a new decision” with specific instructions to give further consideration of the Plaintiff's residual functional capacity (“RFC”) and obtain supplemental evidence from a vocational expert regarding the effect on the Plaintiff's RFC on the occupational base. [Tr. 100-01].

         On remand, a second hearing was conducted. [Tr. 43-73]. Thereafter, the ALJ issued a new decision on December 16, 2014, again finding that the Plaintiff was not under a disability. [Tr. 15-22]. The Appeals Council denied the Plaintiff's request for review. [Tr. 1-6]. Therefore, the ALJ's December 16, 2014 decision became the final decision of the Commissioner.

         Having exhausted her administrative remedies, the Plaintiff filed a Complaint with this Court on June 24, 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.

         II. ALJ FINDGINS

         The ALJ made the following findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through June 30, 2010.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 8, 2008, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (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 a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following nonexertional limitations: for the following limitations: no exertional limitations; no dealing with the general public; little or occasional interaction with supervisors or coworkers; and only simple, routine work.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work. (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was 47 years old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching advance age, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
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. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from October 8, 2008, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).

[Tr. 17-21].

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         When reviewing the Commissioner's determination of whether an individual is disabled pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Court is limited to determining whether the ALJ's decision was reached through application of the correct legal standards and in accordance with the procedure mandated by the regulations and rulings promulgated by the Commissioner, and whether the ALJ's findings are supported by substantial evidence. Blakley v. Comm'r of Soc. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.