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Goodall v. Social Security Administration

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

January 29, 2019

CATHY SUE GOODALL
v.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          J. Gregory Wehrman, United States Magistrate Judge.

         To: The Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Chief District Judge.

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative record. See Docket Entry (“DE”) 9. 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”). (See Administrative Transcript (DE 7) at 21-23).[1] 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.

         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 9) be DENIED.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff protectively filed an application for DIB on March 14, 2013 due to rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”), hypothyroidism, lupus, and depression, with an alleged disability onset date of December 31, 2007. (Tr. 64, 76). Her application was denied initially and on reconsideration. (Tr. 64, 72). Pursuant to her request for a hearing before an ALJ, Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ Andrea Wirth on June 2, 2016. (Tr. 36). On August 22, 2016, the ALJ denied the claim. (Tr. 21-23). On August 30, 2017, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for a review of the ALJ's decision (Tr. 1-3). Therefore, the ALJ's decision stands as the final determination of the Commissioner.

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

1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on December 31, 2009.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from her alleged onset date of December 31, 2007 through her date last insured of December 31, 2009 (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following medically determinable impairments: lupus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (20 CFR 404.1521 et seq.).
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that significantly limited the ability to perform basic work-related activities for 12 consecutive months; therefore, the claimant did not have a severe impairment or combination of impairments (20 CFR 404.1521 et seq.).
5. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from December 31, 2007, the alleged onset date, through December 31, 2009, the date last insured (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).

(Tr. 24-30).

         On appeal, Plaintiff submits that the ALJ erred by (1) failing to find that COPD and lupus represent severe impairments, (2) failing to find that she meets Listing 3.02, and (3) failing to accord adequate weight to the opinion of her treating physician. DE 10 at 8, 11.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. ...


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