United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
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 Rules of this Court for a report and recommendation
regarding disposition by the District Court of the the
Plaintiff's Motion for Judgement on the Pleadings and
Memorandum in Support [Docs. 14 & 15] and the
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in
Support [Docs. 16 & 17]. Anna Leah Sellers (“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 RECOMMEND that the Plaintiff's
motion be DENIED, and the Commissioner's
April 18, 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 April 15, 2013.
[Tr. 183]. After her application was denied initially and
upon reconsideration, the Plaintiff requested a hearing
before an ALJ. [Tr. 146]. A hearing was held on May 20, 2015.
[Tr. 20-62]. On June 22, 2015, the ALJ found that the
Plaintiff was not disabled. [Tr. 14-23]. The Appeals Council
denied the Plaintiff's request for review [Tr. 1-3],
making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
exhausted her administrative remedies, the Plaintiff filed a
Complaint with this Court on June 17, 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, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since her alleged onset date of April 15, 2013. The
claimant engaged in substantial activity (SGA) during the
following periods: 2007 and 2011-2012. The claimant had SGA
level earnings in 2007 for Affordable Discount Reservations,
and in 2011-2012 from Vacation Development Corp. In 2007, the
claimant was an office manager, who supervised a maintenance
man and a housekeeper. In 2011-2012 the claimant worked as a
housekeeper in Gatlinburg for Vacation Development Corp
delivering breakfast and cleaning eleven rooms. She also
cleaned the offices, vending area, and laundry room. Her
certified earnings report shows income of $16, 330 in 2011
and $17, 522 in 2012. The claimant also has posted earnings
of $628 in 2013.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
obesity, degenerative disc disease (DDD) of the back,
affective disorder, anxiety disorder, personality disorder,
and gout (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) and 416.967(b) except the claimant could
occasionally climb ramps or stairs and occasionally climb
ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. She could occasionally
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The claimant can
perform jobs that do not require concentrated exposure to
extreme cold, wetness, moving and hazardous machinery, or
work around unprotected heights. The claimant could perform
jobs requiring simple and detailed routine and repetitive
tasks in work with infrequent routine changes in job duties.
The claimant could sustain occasional brief and superficial
interaction with coworkers and the public.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on August 9, 1964 and was 48 years
old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching
advanced age, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR
404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has at least 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 ...