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Johnson v. Commissioner, Social Security Administration

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

April 13, 2018

TAMMY LYNN JOHNSON
v.
COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL Security Administration [1]

          REPORTAND RECOMMENDATION

          J. GREGORY WEHRMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's amended motion for judgment on the administrative record. See Docket Entry (“DE”) 15.[2] Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) to obtain judicial review of the final decision of the Social Security Administration (“Commissioner”). At issue is whether the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) erred in finding that Plaintiff was “not disabled, ” and therefore not entitled to Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) or Supplement Security Income (“SSI”). (See Administrative Transcript (“Tr.”) at 20-38).[3] This matter has been referred to the undersigned, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), for initial consideration and a report and recommendation. See DE 4.

         Upon review of the administrative record and consideration of the parties' filings, I find no error that would necessitate remand in this case and therefore recommend that Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative record (DE 15) be DENIED.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff protectively filed an application for DIB and SSI on August 19, 2013 due to a fractured talus bone, necrosis and a collapsed bone, depression, anxiety, Hepatitis C, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and neuropathy, with an alleged disability onset date of April 1, 2013. (Tr. 94-95, 140). Her application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Tr. 94-95, 132-33). Pursuant to her request for a hearing before an ALJ, Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ David A. Ettinger on September 10, 2015. (Tr. 44). On February 23, 2016, the ALJ denied the claim. (Tr. 20-22). On February 15, 2017, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for a review of the ALJ's decision; therefore, the ALJ's decision stands as the final determination of the Commissioner. (Tr. 1-3).

         As part of the decision, the ALJ made the following enumerated findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 1, 2013, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: right ankle avascular necrosis, peripheral vascular disease, peripheral neuropathy, obesity, depressive disorder, and borderline intellectual functioning (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. 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 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except that she cannot stand or walk for more than one hour during a work day; cannot more than occasionally operate foot controls with her right leg; cannot climb ladders; cannot more than occasionally climb stairs or crawl; cannot more than frequently balance, stoop, kneel, or crouch; must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold, respiratory irritants, and hazardous work environments; is limited to simple repetitive work; cannot maintain attention or concentration for longer than two hours without interruption; cannot interact with the public; and cannot more than occasionally interact with supervisors and coworkers.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on December 18, 1974 and was 38 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964.
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in this case because the claimant's past relevant work is unskilled (20 CFR 404.1568 and 416.968).
10. 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 404.1569, 404.1569(a), 416.969, and 416.969(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from April 1, 2013, through the date of this decision ...

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