United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Northeastern Division
Crenshaw Chief Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Newbern Magistrate Judge
Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., Chief Judge
before the Court in this Social Security appeal is Plaintiff
Evamarie White's motion for judgment on the
administrative record (Doc. No. 20), to which the Acting
Commissioner of Social Security has responded (Doc. No. 21).
Upon consideration of these filings and the transcript of the
administrative record (Doc. No. 18),  and for the following
reasons, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that White's motion
for judgment be DENIED and that the decision of the
Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
filed an application for disability insurance benefits under
Title II of the Social Security Act on August 25, 2012,
alleging disability onset as of August 16, 2012, due to
uterine cancer, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and asthma.
(Tr. 20, 163.) Florida Disability Determination Services
(DDS) denied White's claims upon initial review and again
following her request for reconsideration. White requested
de novo review of her case by an Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ). The ALJ heard the case on March 28, 2014, in
Tennessee, while White appeared with counsel and gave
testimony via videoconference from Florida. (Tr. 20, 34-48.)
A vocational expert (VE) also testified. After the hearing,
the ALJ took the matter under advisement until May 6, 2014,
when he issued a written decision finding White not disabled.
August 19, 2015, the Appeals Council denied White's
request for review of the ALJ's decision, (Tr. 1-4),
rendering that decision final. This civil action was timely
filed, and the court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. §§
born on August 18, 1960, was 55 years old on her application
date and had worked most recently as an accounts payable
clerk. (Tr. 20, 147, 219.) She has alleged a number of
physical and mental impairments, but her claims of error
relate only to her alleged mental health and right upper
extremity impairments. (Doc. No. 20, PageID# 454-55.) The
following review of the record therefore focuses on those
Review of the Record
summarized the relevant evidence of record in her briefing as
On July 10, 2012, the Plaintiff had a mammogram which showed
a mass-like density in the upper outer quadrant of the right
breast (Tr. 272). A repeat MRI, dated July 20, 2012 showed
similar results, which the radiologist interpreted as normal
summation of breast tissue (Tr. 270).
On August 1, 2012, the Plaintiff had a biopsy of the uterus
(Tr. 293). On August 12, 2012, the Plaintiff was diagnosed
with endometrioid adenocar[c]inoma (Tr. 296). September,
2012, MRI of the uterus showed findings suggesting myometrial
invasion (Tr. 295).
On October 23, 2012, the Plaintiff had a total hysterectomy,
bilateral removal of ovaries, and pelvic lymph node
dissection (Tr. 333).
The Plaintiff also has been having problems with swelling of
her right arm and right leg (Tr. 359). Plaintiff has been
having a lump under her right breast since 2004 (Tr. 359).
On January 11, 2013, Plaintiff sought mental health treatment
complaining of symptoms of depression and anxious mood (Tr.
348). Plaintiff reported symptoms of gastric distress,
insomnia, loss of appetite, difficulty with concentration,
increased forgetfulness, mind racing, feeling inadequate,
increased anxiety when in family gatherings, loss of
interest, lack of pleasure, fatigue, lack of
energy/motivation, social withdrawal, painful thoughts which
often reoccurred as problematic dreams, increased unprovoked
crying episodes, excessive worry, unjustified fears, being
oversensitive toward the reaction of others, and other
problems (Tr. 348). Plaintiff subsequently underwent
individual mental health therapy (Tr. 384-389).
On February 28, 2014, the Plaintiff again complained of right
arm swelling from shoulder to fingertips (Tr. 390). She was
unable to lift her arm and no longer could reach behind her
back to wipe after bowel movements (Tr. 390). Exam revealed
edema of the right arm to fingertips with decreased strength
(Tr. 393). She also had difficulty following her diabetes
treatment due to finances and had her blood sugar fluctuating
widely from 134 to 415 (Tr. 390). Plaintiff also had an
abnormal 10-gram monofilament exam of both of her feet (Tr.
393). Among other things, Dr. Gagliardi diagnosed the
Plaintiff with diabetic polyneuropathy, arthritis, adjustment
disorder with anxiety and depressed mood (Tr. 393).
(Doc. No. 20, PageID# 455-57 (footnotes omitted).)
ALJ's decision contains the following enumerated
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 August 16, 2012, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: type II
diabetes mellitus; asthma; and obesity (20 CFR 404.1520(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,