United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), Rule 73 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and
the consent of the parties [Doc. 12]. Now before the Court is
Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and
Memorandum in Support [Docs. 13 and 14] and Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs.
15 and 16]. Ronnie Bunch (“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 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for
disability insurance benefits pursuant to Title II of the
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.,
claiming a period of disability that began on that same date.
[Tr.125-28]. After his application was denied initially and
upon reconsideration, Plaintiff requested a hearing before an
ALJ. [Tr. 85]. A hearing was held on January 26, 2017. [Tr.
27-47]. On March 3, 2017, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was
not disabled. [Tr. 12-22]. The Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review [Tr. 1-3], making the
ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.
exhausted his administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed a
Complaint with this Court on July 17, 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 meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2019.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since August 28, 2014, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
peripheral neuropathy, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension
(20 CFR 404.1520(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 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) except with no climbing ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds; occasional climbing ramps and stairs; occasional
exposure to vibration; and no exposure to hazards such as
unprotected heights or dangerous moving machinery.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past work as a sales
agent for a manufactured home company (Oakwood homes). This
work does not require the performance of work-related
activities precluded by the claimant's residual
functional capacity. (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from August 28, 2014, through the
date of ...