United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
CHRISTOPHER H. STEGER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
action was instituted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§
405(g) and 1383(c)(3) seeking judicial review of the
Commissioner's final decision denying Iris Johnson's
(“Plaintiff”) claim for Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”) as provided by the Social
Security Act. The 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. 12]. For the
reasons stated herein, Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on
the Administrative Record [Doc. 9] shall be
DENIED; the Commissioner's Motion for
Summary Judgment [Doc. 13] shall be GRANTED;
and the decision of the Commissioner shall be
AFFIRMED. Judgment in favor of the
Commissioner shall be entered.
December 2013, Plaintiff applied for disability insurance
benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act (Act), 42
U.S.C. §§ 401-434 (Tr. 265), alleging an onset date
of disability of January 1, 2010 (Tr. 124). The agency denied
Plaintiff's claim initially and on reconsideration (Tr.
178, 189). Plaintiff requested and obtained a hearing before
an administrative law judge (ALJ) in September 16, 2015 (Tr.
117-168). During the hearing, Plaintiff amended her alleged
onset date of disability to July 1, 2012 (Tr. 165). By a
decision dated February 3, 2016, ALJ Beverly Susler Parkhurst
denied Plaintiff's claim for disability benefits (Tr.
103-115). On September 30, 2016, the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review (Tr. 1-4). Plaintiff has
exhausted her administrative remedies, and the ALJ's
decision stands as the final decision of the Commissioner.
Section 205(g) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), provides
for judicial review of a “final decision” of the
The ALJ's Findings
considering the entire record, the ALJ made the following
1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of
the Social Security Act on December 31, 2014.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from her alleged onset date of
July 1, 2012, through her date last insured of December 31,
2014 (20 CF'R 404.1571 et seq.).
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the
following severe impairments: hypertension, hyperlipidemia,
GERD, degenerative joint disease, migraines, osteoporosis and
history of complex fracture (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have
an impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR
404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the
claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b), meaning that the
claimant is capable of lifting or carrying 20 pounds
occasionally, lifting or carrying 10 pounds frequently,
sitting for 6 hours in an 8 hour workday, and standing or
walking for 6 hours in an 8 hour workday. The claimant is
capable of climbing ramps and stairs, twisting, climbing,
balancing, stooping, crawling, crouching and kneeling for up
to 1/3 of the day. The claimant is precluded from climbing
ladders, ropes and scaffolds. The claimant must avoid
concentrated exposure to hazards, moving machinery and
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was capable of
performing past relevant work as an administrative clerk.
This work did not require the performance of work-related
activities precluded by the claimant's residual
functional capacity (20 CPR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the
Social Security Act, at any time from July 1, 2012, the
alleged onset date, through December 31, 2014, the date last
insured (20 CPR 404.1520(1)).
Plaintiff's Age, Education, and Past Work
was 57 years old at the time of the hearing before the ALJ on
September 16, 2015 (Tr. 137). She was 54 years old at the
time of her amended, alleged onset date of disability of July
1, 2012. She is a high school graduate with past relevant
work as an administrative clerk, semi-skilled, with a light
exertional requirement (Tr. 137, 148).
Plaintiff's Testimony and Medical History
and the parties have discussed adequately Plaintiff's
medical history and testimony. The Court will discuss the
Plaintiff's medical history and testimony only as it
relates to the issues addressed in this case.