United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
SHIRLEY A. SMITH, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
CHRISTOPHER H. STEGER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action was instituted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's final
decision denying Shirley Smith's
(“Plaintiff”) claim for Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”), as provided by the Social
parties have consented to entry of final judgment by the
United States Magistrate Judge under the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 636(c), with any appeal to the Court of Appeals
for the Sixth Circuit [Doc. 14]. Pending before the Court are
Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Doc.
16] and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc.
reasons stated herein, the Court AFFIRMS the
Commissioner's decision. Accordingly, the Court
DENIES Plaintiff's motion [Doc. 16] and
GRANTS Defendant's motion [Doc. 20].
November 28, 2012, Plaintiff protectively filed for DIB under
Title II of the Social Security Act (“Act”), 42
U.S.C. § 401 et seq., based on sleep apnea,
back injury, high blood pressure, a fractured ankle,
depression, anxiety, and head injury [Tr. 149-151,
169]. Plaintiff's claims were denied
initially and on reconsideration [Tr. 72, 86, 89-93, 95-97].
On November 10, 2014, Plaintiff appeared and testified at a
hearing before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
Ronald Feibus [Tr. 25-51]. On December 17, 2014, the ALJ
issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was “not
disabled, ” as defined in the applicable sections of
the Act, because she was capable of performing her past
relevant work [Tr. 13-18]. On April 8, 2016, the Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review [Tr. 1-3].
Thus, Plaintiff has exhausted her 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 sixty-four-year-old individual who performed
past relevant work as a legal secretary, construction
laborer, and outside sales representative [Tr. 28-29, 32,
37-38, 194-203]. At the time of her alleged onset date of
March 23, 2012, Plaintiff was fifty-eight years old [Tr.
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 meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act ...