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Ball v. Berryhill

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

March 30, 2018

SHEILA DIANNA BALL, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., CHIEF JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Terence P. Kemp United States Magistrate Judge

         To: The Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., Chief Judge

         This is an action instituted under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383 to review a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying Plaintiff's application for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Plaintiff filed a motion for judgment on the administrative record on June 8, 2017 (Doc. 19) and the Commissioner responded on July 6, 2017 (Doc. 20). Plaintiff filed a reply to the response on July 18. 2017 (Doc. 21). For the following reasons, it will be recommended that Plaintiff's motion be DENIED and that this action be DISMISSED.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff filed her applications for benefits on September 9, 2013, asserting that she became disabled on March 1, 2002 due to back pain, foot pain, and obesity. On December 13, 2013, both applications were denied, and Plaintiff's request for reconsideration was denied on March 24, 2014. She then asked for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and that hearing was held on October 5, 2015. Both Plaintiff and a vocational expert, Edward Smith, testified at the hearing. Also, through counsel, Plaintiff amended her alleged onset date to November 18, 2013, effectively eliminating her application for disability insurance benefits under Title II. (Tr. 47).

         In a decision dated January 21, 2016, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff did not meet the requirements for disability. Plaintiff sought review of that decision from the Appeals Council, but that appeal was denied on January 11, 2017. The case is now before this Court to determine which party is entitled to judgment on the administrative record (Doc. 17).

         II. The Findings and Conclusions of the ALJ In his decision, the ALJ made the following findings of fact and conclusions of law (with some legal references omitted):

         1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through September 30, 2007.

         2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 18, 2013, the alleged onset date.

         3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease, obesity and dysfunction of major joints.

         4. The claimant does not have an impairment of 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.

         5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) and 416.967(c) except occasional climbing of ramps, stairs, ladders, ropes and scaffolds with frequent stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling.

         6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as an assistant manager fast food, biscuit maker, short order cook and waitress. This work does not require the performance of work-related ...


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