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Maher v. Berryhill

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

January 11, 2018

KEVIN MAHER
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL[1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BARBARA D. HOLMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff 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 his claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), as provided under Title II 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 responded. Docket Entry No. 13.

         Upon review of the administrative record as a whole and consideration of the parties' filings, the undersigned Magistrate Judge respectfully recommends that Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative record (Docket Entry No. 12) be DENIED.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff filed an application for DIB on December 19, 2012. See Transcript of the Administrative Record (Docket Entry No. 10) at 82.[2] He alleged a disability onset date of November 29, 2012. AR 95. Plaintiff asserted that he was unable to work due to bipolar disorder, depression, kidney cancer, and memory problems. AR 99.[3]

         Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. AR 82, 95. Pursuant to his request for a hearing before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”), Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ William F. Taylor on September 26, 2014. AR 30. On December 12, 2014, the ALJ denied the claim. AR 9-11. On August 5, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for a review of the ALJ's decision (AR 1-4), 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).

         II. THE ALJ FINDINGS

         The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on December 12, 2014. AR 9-11. Based upon the record, the ALJ made the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant last met insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on June 30, 2014.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from his alleged onset date of November 29, 2012 through his date last insured of June 30, 2014. (Exhibits B-4D, B-5D) (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following severe impairments: renal cell carcinoma, status post resection; and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the claimant had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except frequent postural activities except for [sic] no climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds; no limits on fingering, feeling, and handling; the avoidance of concentrated exposure to temperature extremes, as well as dusts, odors, fumes, gases, irritating inhalants, and areas of poor ventilation; no limits on operation of foot controls; no limits on hearing, seeing or speaking; and no other limits of any type.
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was capable of performing past relevant work as a manager of distribution warehouse. This work did not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity. (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from November 29, 2012, the alleged onset date, through June 30, 2014, the date last insured (20 CFR 404.1520(f)).

AR 14-25.

         III. REVIEW OF THE RECORD

         The parties and the ALJ have thoroughly summarized and discussed the medical and testimonial evidence of the administrative record. Accordingly, the Court will discuss those matters only to the extent necessary to analyze the parties' arguments.

         IV. DISCUSSION AND ...


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