United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
JESSICA A. HARNESS, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,  Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
C. Poplin United States Magistrate Judge
case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
and the consent of the parties [Doc. 19]. Now before the
Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the
Administrative Record and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 22
& 23] and the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 24 & 25]. Jessica A.
Harness (“the Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review
of the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“the
ALJ”), the final decision of Defendant Nancy A.
Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“the
Commissioner”). For the reasons that follow, the Court
will GRANT the Plaintiff's motion and
DENY the Commissioner's motion.
April 10, 2013, the Plaintiff filed an application for
disability insurance benefits pursuant to Title XVI of the
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381-1385,
claiming a period of disability that began on April 10, 2013.
[Tr. 20, 155-60]. After her application was denied initially
and upon reconsideration, the Plaintiff requested a hearing
before an ALJ. [Tr. 108]. A hearing was held on April 10,
2015. [Tr. 37-63]. On July 14, 2015, the ALJ found that the
Plaintiff was not disabled. [Tr. 20-32]. The Appeals Council
denied the Plaintiff's request for review [Tr. 1-6],
making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
exhausted her administrative remedies, the Plaintiff filed a
Complaint with this Court on September 29, 2016, seeking
judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision
under Section 405(g) of the Social Security Act. [Doc. 1].
The parties have filed competing dispositive motions, and
this matter is now ripe for adjudication.
made the following findings:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since April 10, 2013, the application date (20 CFR
416.971 et seq.)
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: morbid
obesity, depression, mild degenerative disc disease of the
lumbar spine, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches (20 CFR
3. 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 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant had the residual
functional capacity to lift and/or carry up to 20 pounds
occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. She can sit, stand
and/or walk for a total of about 6 hours each in an 8-hour
workday. She must avoid climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds
but can occasionally climb ramps or stairs. She can
frequently balance. She can occasionally stoop, kneel, crouch
or crawl. She must avoid concentrated exposure to hazards,
such as unprotected heights and machinery. She is limited to
simple, routine, repetitive tasks but can apply commonsense
and understanding to carry out oral, written and diagrammatic
5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 416.965).
6. The claimant was born on February 9, 1980 and was 33 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.963).
7. The claimant has a limited education and is able to
communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. Transferability of jobs skills is not an issue in this
case because the claimant's past relevant work is
unskilled (20 CFR 416.968).
9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform. (20 CFR 416.969 and
10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, since April 10, 2013, the date
the application was filed (20 CFR 416.920(g)).