Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Johnson v. Social Security Administration

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

March 27, 2018

THERESA MARTHA CAROL JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          Honorable William L. Campbell, Jr. Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE RECORD [16]

          DAVID R. GRAND, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Theresa Martha Carol Johnson (“Johnson”) brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), challenging the final decision of Defendant Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under the Social Security Act (the “Act”). On October 5, 2016, Johnson filed a Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record and a Memorandum in Support. (Docs. #16, #17). On November 29, 2016, the Commissioner filed a response in opposition to Johnson's motion. (Doc. #20). On January 30, 2018, this matter was referred to the undersigned for a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B).

         I. RECOMMENDATION

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that the Administrative Law Judge's (“ALJ”) conclusion that Johnson is not disabled under the Act is not supported by substantial evidence. Accordingly, the Court RECOMMENDS that Johnson's Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (Doc. #16) be GRANTED, and that, pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this case be REMANDED to the ALJ for further proceedings consistent with this Report and Recommendation.

         II. REPORT

         A. Procedural History

         On September 26, 2011, Johnson filed applications for DIB and SSI, alleging a disability onset date of November 27, 2010. (Tr. 45, 85-86). These applications were denied at the initial level. (Tr. 85-86). Johnson filed a timely request for an administrative hearing, which was held on July 1, 2014, before ALJ Mark Siegel. (Tr. 61-84). Johnson, who was represented by attorney Brenda Benson, testified at the hearing, as did vocational expert (“VE”) Jo Ann Bullard. (Id.). At the hearing, Johnson amended her alleged onset date to May 8, 2011. (Tr. 74). On October 23, 2014, the ALJ issued a written decision finding that Johnson is not disabled under the Act. (Tr. 42-54). On March 4, 2016, the Appeals Council denied review. (Tr. 1-6). Johnson timely filed for judicial review of the final decision on May 5, 2016. (Doc. #1).

         B. Framework for Disability Determinations

         Under the Act, DIB and SSI benefits are available only for those who have a “disability.” See Colvin v. Barnhart, 475 F.3d 727, 730 (6th Cir. 2007). The Act defines “disability” as the:

inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). The Commissioner's regulations provide that a disability is to be determined through the application of a five-step sequential analysis:

Step One: If the claimant is currently engaged in substantial gainful activity, benefits are denied without further analysis.
Step Two: If the claimant does not have a severe impairment or combination of impairments that “significantly limits . . . physical or mental ability to do basic work activities, ” benefits are denied without further analysis.
Step Three: If the claimant is not performing substantial gainful activity, has a severe impairment that is expected to last for at least twelve months, and the severe impairment meets or equals one of the impairments listed in the regulations, the claimant is conclusively presumed to be disabled regardless of age, education, or work experience.
Step Four: If the claimant is able to perform his or her past relevant work, benefits are denied without further analysis.
Step Five: Even if the claimant is unable to perform his or her past relevant work, if other work exists in the national economy that the claimant can perform, in view of his or her age, education, and work experience, benefits are denied.

Scheuneman v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No. 11-10593, 2011 WL 6937331, at *7 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 6, 2011) (citing 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920); see also Heston v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 245 F.3d 528, 534 (6th Cir. 2001). “The burden of proof is on the claimant throughout the first four steps . . . . If the analysis reaches the fifth step without a finding that claimant is not disabled, the burden transfers to the [defendant].” Preslar v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 14 F.3d 1107, 1110 (6th Cir. 1994).

         C. Background

         1.The Record

         Johnson alleges disability as a result of emphysema, a “bad” right shoulder, and arthritis. (Tr. 254). At the time of the administrative hearing, Johnson was fifty-three years old. (Tr. 66). Her highest level of education is tenth grade, and she worked as a certified nursing assistant from 1996 to 2010. (Tr. 255, 262-67, 271).

         The Court has thoroughly reviewed the record in this matter, including Johnson's medical record, Function Report, Disability Reports, and testimony as to her conditions and resulting limitations. Instead of summarizing that information here, the Court will make references and provide ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.