United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Northeastern Division
Crenshaw Chief Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BROWN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the court is Plaintiff's motion for judgment on
the administrative record (Docket Entry No. 11), to which
Defendant Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”) filed a response (Docket Entry
No. 13). Upon consideration of the parties' filings and
the transcript of the administrative record (Docket Entry No.
and for the reasons given herein, the Magistrate Judge
RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff's motion for
judgment be DENIED and that the decision of
the Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
Patrick Joseph Monahan, Jr., filed an application for
Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title
II of the Social Security Act on June 12, 2014, alleging
disability onset as of June 16, 2011, due to PTSD,
depression, anxiety and back problems. (Tr. 33, 79, 92, 243).
Plaintiff's claim was denied at the initial level on July
31, 2014, and on reconsideration on September 24, 2014. (Tr.
33, 90, 104, 109, 114). Plaintiff subsequently requested
de novo review of his case by an administrative law
judge (“ALJ”). (Tr. 33, 119). The ALJ heard the
case on August 17, 2016, when Plaintiff appeared with counsel
and gave testimony. (Tr. 33, 49-78). Testimony was also
received by a vocational expert. (Tr. 73-77). At the
conclusion of the hearing, the matter was taken under
advisement until October 3, 2016, when the ALJ issued a
written decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. (Tr. 33-44).
That decision contains 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 June 16, 2011, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); major depressive
disorder; spine disorder (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, 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).The claimant can lift and carry, push and pull up
to 20 pounds occasionally, and up to 10 pounds frequently.
With normal breaks in an eight-hour day, he can sit for six
hours, and stand and/or walk for six hours. The claimant can
understand and carry out simple and detailed instructions;
can maintain concentration, persistence and pace for simple
and detailed, but not executive level tasks, despite
infrequent distractions in a social setting; can tolerate
only one-on-one interaction with the general public and
occasional interaction with supervisors and co-workers; and
can adapt to occasional changes in the workplace.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on March 26, 1989 and was 22 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
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 and
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from June 16, 2011, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g)).
(Tr. 35, 36, 38, 42, 43).
January 24, 2018, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's
request for review of the ALJ's decision (Tr. 1-5),
thereby rendering that decision the final decision of the
Commissioner. This civil action was thereafter timely filed,
and the Court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).