Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wagner v. Saul

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

July 18, 2019

DEBORAH R. WAGNER, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW M. SAUL, [1] Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

         This 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. 14]. Now before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 15 and 16] and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 17 and 18]. Deborah Wagner (“Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review of the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“the ALJ”), the final decision of Defendant Andrew M. Saul (“the Commissioner”). For the reasons that follow, the Court will GRANT Plaintiff's motion and DENY the Commissioner's motion.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On April 4, 2005, Plaintiff's application for disability insurance benefits pursuant to Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq., was granted, and she was found disabled as of January 21, 2003. [Tr. 13].

         However, on February 21, 2014, during a subsequent Continuing Disability Review, it was determined that Plaintiff was no longer disabled within the meaning of the Act as of February 1, 2014. [Tr. 150-51]. Following a hearing, on April 7, 2015, the decision was upheld on reconsideration. [Tr. 167-76]. Plaintiff then requested a hearing before an ALJ. [Tr. 177]. A hearing was held on August 4, 2015. [Tr. 65-81]. On August 19, 2015, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was not disabled as of February 1, 2014. [Tr. 97-112]. The Appeals Council granted Plaintiff's request for review and remanded the decision back to the ALJ for reconsideration. [Tr. 113-16]. A hearing was held by the ALJ on April 27, 2017 [Tr. 49-64], as well as a supplemental hearing on September 28, 2017 [Tr. 34-48]. On October 24, 2017, the ALJ again found that Plaintiff was not disabled as of February 1, 2014. [Tr. 8-33]. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on April 12, 2018 [Tr. 1-5], making the ALJ's second decision the final decision of the Commissioner.

         Having exhausted her administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed a Complaint with this Court on April 19, 2018, seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision under Section 405(g) of the Social Security Act. [Doc. 1]. This case was subsequently reassigned to the undersigned on May 3, 2019. [Doc. 19]. The parties have filed competing dispositive motions, and this matter is now ripe for adjudication.

         II. ALJ FINDINGS

         The ALJ made the following findings:

1. The most recent favorable medical decision finding that the claimant was disabled is the determination dated April 4, 2005. This is known as the “comparison point decision” or CPD.
2. At the time of the CPD, the claimant had the following medically determinable impairments: chronic sore throat; reactive airway disease; hoarseness; chronic sinusitis; chronic rhinitis; mold allergies; burning eyes; low back pain; and fatigue. These impairments were found to result in the residual functional capacity to perform less than sedentary exertion on a regular and sustained basis.
3. Through the date of this decision, the claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the CPD (20 CFR 404.1594(f)(1)).
4. The medical evidence establishes that the claimant did not develop any additional impairments after the CPD through the date of this decision. Thus, the claimant has continued to have the same impairments that she had at the time of the CPD.
5. Since February 1, 2014, the claimant has not had an impairment or combination of impairments which met or medically equaled the severity of an impairment listed in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1525 and 404.1526).
6. Medical improvement occurred on February 1, 2014 (20 CFR 404.1594(b)(1)).
7. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that, since February 1, 2014, the claimant has had the residual functional capacity to perform work at all exertional levels except that she is limited as described by Dr. Robert Blaine, MD, in Exhibit 19F, to occasional exposure to humidity and wetness and no exposure to dust, odors, fumes, and pulmonary irritants.
8. The claimant's medical improvement is related to the ability to work because it resulted in an increase in the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1594(c)(3)(ii)).
9. Since February 1, 2014, the claimant has continued to have a severe impairment or combination of impairments (20 CFR 404.1594(f)(6)).
10. Since February 1, 2014, the claimant has been capable of performing past relevant work as a teacher. This work has not required the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.