United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHRISTOPHER H. STEGER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action was instituted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§
405(g) and 1383(c)(3) seeking judicial review of the
Commissioner's final decision denying Terry Layne's
(“Plaintiff”) claim for Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”), as provided by the Social Security Act.
matter has been referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 72(b) for a report and recommendation on
Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Administrative
Record [Doc. 16] and the Commissioner's Motion for
Summary Judgment [Doc. 20].
Commissioner determined that Plaintiff is not disabled under
the Act. Finding that such determination is supported by
substantial evidence in the record as required by 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), I RECOMMEND that
Plaintiff's motion [Doc. 16] be DENIED,
the Commissioner's motion [Doc. 20] be
GRANTED, and the Commissioner's decision
April 29, 2013, Plaintiff protectively filed for DIB and SSI
under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act
(“Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.
and 42 U.S.C. § 1381 et seq., based on back and
leg pain associated with failed back syndrome [Tr. 176-184,
198]. Plaintiff's claims were denied
initially and on reconsideration [Tr. 80-81, 110-111,
144-149, 152-157]. On September 2, 2015, Plaintiff appeared
and testified at a hearing before Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Wesley Kliner [Tr. 25-79]. On December 7,
2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was
“not disabled, ” as defined in the applicable
sections of the Act, because work existed in the national
economy that he could still perform [Tr. 10-18]. On September
21, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request
for review [Tr. 1-3]. Thus, Plaintiff has exhausted his
administrative remedies, and the ALJ's decision stands as
the Commissioner's final decision subject to judicial
review. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Age, Education, and Past Work Experience
is currently a forty-seven-year-old individual who performed
past relevant work as an assistant supervisor at a plastic
company and as a cabinet maker [Tr. 37, 68-69, 216]. At the
time of his amended alleged onset date of June 1, 2011,
Plaintiff was forty years old [Tr. 176, 178].
Testimony and Medical History
parties and the ALJ have summarized and discussed the medical
and testimonial evidence of the administrative record.
Accordingly, the Court will discuss those matters as relevant
to the analysis of the parties' arguments.
considering the entire record, the ALJ made the following
1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through June 30, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since June 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:
degenerative disk disease of the lumbar spine, major joint
dysfunction, and affective and anxiety disorders (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, I find
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 he can perform only occasional postural
activities, but no climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolding.
The claimant can respond appropriately to supervisors,
co-workers, and the public in frequent interactions. He is
expected to be off task less than five percent of the time in
an eight-hour workday due to mild to moderately limited
concentration, persistence, and pace.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on October 20, 1970, which is
defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged
disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has a high school level education and is able
to communicate in English (20 CFR ...