United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
DESSIE S. OLIVEIRA, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, performing the duties and functions not reserved to the Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
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. 18]. Now before the
Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and
Memorandum in Support [Docs. 15 & 16] and Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs.
19 & 20]. Dessie S. Oliveira (“Plaintiff”)
seeks judicial review of the decision of the Administrative
Law Judge (“the ALJ”), the final decision of
Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill (“the
Commissioner”). For the reasons that follow, the Court
will DENY Plaintiff's motion and
GRANT the Commissioner's motion.
August 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for
supplemental security income benefits pursuant to Title XVI
of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1381 et
seq., claiming a period of disability that began on
March 22, 2015, the amended onset date. [Tr. 22, 48, 168-74].
After her application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration, Plaintiff requested a hearing before an ALJ.
[Tr. 108]. A hearing was held on July 25, 2016. [Tr. 36-59].
On September 29, 2016, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was not
disabled. [Tr. 22-30]. The Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review [Tr. 1-4], making the
ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.
exhausted her administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed a
Complaint with this Court on May 5, 2017, 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 March 22, 2015, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
416.971 et seq.).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
disorder of the back, osteoarthritis in the left shoulder,
depressive disorder, unspecified anxiety disorder (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 has the residual
functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20
CFR 416.967(c) except that the claimant can do no more than
frequent climbing of ramps and stairs; no more than
occasional climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; no more
than frequent balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, or
crawling; no more than frequent overhead reaching with the
left upper extremity; must avoid concentrated exposure to
extreme heat and avoid all hazards; limited to 1, 2, 3-step
instructions with no more than occasional contact with
supervisors, coworkers, and the public with changes
introduced gradually and infrequently.
5. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work.
This work does not require performance of work-related
activities precluded by the claimant's residual
functional capacity. (20 CFR 416.965).
6. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, since March 22, 2015, the amended
onset date, through the date of this decision (20 CFR