United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
Honorable William L. Campbell, Jr., District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D. HOLMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
filed 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”) denying Plaintiff's claim
for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) as provided
under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act
(“the Act”). The case is currently pending on
Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative
record (see Docket Entry (“DE”) 22), to
which Defendant has filed a response. See DE 23.
Plaintiff has also filed a subsequent reply to
Defendant's response. See DE 24. 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 7.
review of the administrative record as a whole and
consideration of the parties' filings, the undersigned
Magistrate Judge respectfully recommends that Plaintiff's
motion (DE 22) be GRANTED, the decision of
the Commissioner be REVERSED, and this
matter be REMANDED for further
administrative proceedings consistent with this Report.
filed applications for DIB and SSI on August 12, 2015.
See Transcript of the Administrative Record (DE 16)
at 80-81. She alleged a disability onset date of May
1, 2015. AR 80-81. Plaintiff asserted that she was unable to
work because of heart problems, breast abscesses, obesity,
ankle problems, diabetes, and breathing problems. AR 82.
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
AR 80-81, 111-12. Pursuant to her request for a hearing
before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”),
Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing
before ALJ Shannon H. Heath on October 2, 2017. AR 31. The
ALJ denied the claim on December 20, 2017. AR 14-16. The
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of
the ALJ's decision on April 13, 2018 (AR 3-5), thereby
making the ALJ's 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).
THE ALJ FINDINGS
issued an unfavorable decision and made the following
enumerated findings based upon the record:
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 May 1, 2015, the alleged onset date. (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
Myocardial infarction, osteoarthritis, post-traumatic stress
disorder, and generalized anxiety 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). Sections 1.02, 4.02, 8.04,
and 12.00 of the Listing of Impairments were given
particularized scrutiny in reaching this conclusion.
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds 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 she is limited to
lifting ten-to-fifteen pounds occasionally, six-to-eight
hours of walking and four-to-six hours of standing during
each eight-hour timeframe. In addition, the claimant is
limited to occasional climbing of ladders, ropes, and
scaffolds and to frequent climbing of ramps and stairs. The
claimant is also limited to frequent balancing, stooping,
kneeling, crouching, and crawling. Although the claimant must
avoid concentrated exposure to temperature extremes, she can
understand, remember, and carry out simple and detailed, but
not complex, tasks. The claimant can maintain concentration,
persistence, and pace for two-hour intervals with breaks
spread throughout the day. In addition, the claimant can
occasionally interact appropriately with the public,
co-workers, and supervisors. Finally, the claimant can adapt
to occasional 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 March 5, 1967 and was 48 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date. The claimant subsequently
changed age category to closely approaching advanced age (20
CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has a limited 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 ...