United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
C. POPLIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
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 Summary Judgment and Memorandum in
Support [Docs. 17 & 18] and Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 23 &
24]. Plaintiff subsequently filed a Reply [Doc. 25] to
L. Evans (“Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review of
the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“the
ALJ”), the final decision of Defendant Nancy A.
Berryhill (“the Commissioner”). For the reasons
that follow, the Court will GRANT IN PART
Plaintiff's motion and DENY the
filed an application for disability insurance benefits on
October 25, 2014 [Tr. 175], and subsequently protectively
filed an application for supplemental security income
benefits on January 20, 2015 [Tr. 178], pursuant to Titles II
and XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§
401 et seq. and 1381 et seq., claiming a
period of disability that began on August 6, 2014. After her
application was denied initially and upon reconsideration,
Plaintiff requested a hearing before an ALJ. [Tr. 124]. A
hearing was held on August 17, 2016. [Tr. 36-72]. On
September 16, 2016, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was not
disabled. [Tr. 10-17]. The Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review on October 11, 2017 [Tr.
1-6], making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
exhausted her administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed a
Complaint with this Court on November 6, 2017, seeking
judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision
under Section 405(g) of the Social Security Act. [Doc. 1].
The parties have filed competing dispositive motions, and
this matter is now ripe for adjudication.
made the following findings:
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 August 6, 2014, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq. and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: the
residual effects of a left navicular fracture, left peroneal
nerve neural lysis, left ankle lateral ligament
reconstruction; lumbago, panic disorder, post-traumatic
stress disorder, depression; bipolar disorder, and anxiety
(20 CFR 404.1520(c). and 416.921(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, 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 the following
limitations: occasional climbing ladders, ropes, and
scaffolding; frequent climbing ramps and stairs; frequent
balancing; occasional stooping; frequent kneeling, crouching,
and crawling; work limited to simple, routine, and repetitive
tasks; performed in a work environment free of fast-paced
work; involving only simple work-related decisions; few, if
any, workplace changes; and only occasional interaction with
the public, coworkers, and supervisors.
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 11, 1971 and was 43 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 and
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from August 6, 2014, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g)).