United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
JERRY KENNETH LOKEY, JR.
COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Honorable Aleta A. Trauger, District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
GREGORY WEHRMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
pending is Plaintiffs motion for judgment on the
administrative record. See Docket Entry
("DE") 18. 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 Supplemental Security Income
("SSI"). (See Administrative Transcript
("Tr.") at 8-10). 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 2.
review of the administrative record and consideration of the
parties' filings, I recommend that Plaintiffs motion for
judgment on the administrative record (DE 18) be GRANTED, the
decision of the Commissioner be REVERSED, and this matter be
REMANDED for further administrative proceedings consistent
with this Report.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
protectively filed an application for DIB and SSI on
September 8, 2015 due to back problems and bipolar disorder,
with an alleged onset date of August 1, 2014. (Tr. 44,
60-61). His application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 60-61, 94-95). Pursuant to his request
for an administrative hearing, Plaintiff appeared with
counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ John E. Case on
November 2, 2016. (Tr. 26). On January 25, 2017, the ALJ
denied the claim. (Tr. 8-10). On June 8, 2017, the Appeals
Council denied Plaintiffs request for a review of the
ALJ's decision. (Tr. 1-3). Therefore, the ALJ's
decision stands as the final determination of the
As part of the decision, the ALJ made the following
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since August 1, 2014, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 etseq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: lumbar
spondylosis, peripheral neuropathy, chronic pain syndrome,
and bipolar disorder (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 light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except the claimant could stand and/or walk no
more than 4 hours in total. He could occasionally climb,
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. The claimant could
work in non-hazardous work environments. Additionally, the
claimant would be limited to the performance of simple,
non-complex tasks. He should not work with the public and
could adjust to infrequent changes in the workplace.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on July 18, 1987 and was 27 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date. (20 CFR 404.1563 and
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is "not disabled, " whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills (See
SSR 82-41 and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
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 August 1, 2014, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).
appeal, Plaintiff submits three assertions of erron(1) that
the ALJ failed to sufficiently justify his decision to
discount a treating physician's opinion; (2) that the ALJ
failed to properly evaluate Plaintiffs credibility; and (3)
that the residual functional capacity determination is not
supported by substantial evidence. DE 16 at 9, 13, 18.
Plaintiff therefore requests that this case be reversed and
remanded pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
for further consideration. Id. at 21.