United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
Christopher H. Steger, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Stephanie Cobb seeks judicial review under § 205(g) of
the Social Security Act ("Act"), 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), from her denial by the Commissioner of the Social
Security Administration regarding her application for
disability insurance benefits and supplemental security
income under Titles II and XVI of the Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 401-34, 1381-83f. [See Doc. 1]. The
parties consented to the entry of final judgment by a United
States Magistrate Judge according to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c),
with an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on
the Pleadings [Doc. 31] will be DENIED, the
Commissioner's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 33] will
be GRANTED, and judgment will be entered
AFFIRMING the Commissioner's decision.
October 2013, Plaintiff applied for disability insurance
benefits and supplemental security income under Title II of
the Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-434, alleging disability
as of October 13, 2013. (Tr. 99, Doc. 16-2). Plaintiff's
claims were denied initially as well as on reconsideration.
As a result, Plaintiff requested a hearing before an
administrative law judge.
February 2017, ALJ Charles Howard heard testimony from
Plaintiff and a vocational expert, as well as argument from
Plaintiff's attorney. The ALJ then rendered his decision,
finding that Plaintiff was not under a "disability"
as defined in the Act. (Tr. 99-103).
the ALJ's decision, Plaintiff requested that the Appeals
Council review her denial; however, that request was denied.
(Tr. 1-5). Having exhausted her administrative remedies,
Plaintiff then filed her Complaint on April 24, 2018, seeking
judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision
under § 405(g) [Doc. 1]. The parties filed competing
dispositive motions, and this matter is now ripe for
Findings by the ALJ
made the following findings with respect to his decision on
Plaintiff's application for benefits:
1. Plaintiff meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through June 30, 2017.
2. Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since October 31, 2013, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1571 et seq. and 416.971 et.
3. Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: asthma,
osteoarthritis, status post left eye surgeries, anxiety, and
depression (20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. Plaintiff does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart
P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 404.1525,
404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925, and 416.926).
5. Absent certain limitations, Plaintiff retained the
residual-functional capacity to perform sedentary work as
defined in 20 C.F.R. ...