United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
CHRISTOPHER H. STEGER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action was timely instituted pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) seeking judicial review of the
Commissioner's final decision denying Holly Lynne
Buckmaster's ("Plaintiff") claim for disability
insurance benefits ("DIB"), under Title II of the
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-434.
Plaintiff seeks benefits on the basis of major motor
seizures, borderline intellectual functioning, organic mental
disorders, and migraines. [Doc. 15, Pl.'s br. at 1]. The
parties have consented to entry of final judgment by the
United States Magistrate Judge under the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 636(c), with any appeal to the Court of Appeals
for the Sixth Circuit [Doc. 13].
Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 16] and Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 14] are pending. Plaintiff
seeks remand of her claim for further administrative
proceedings on two alleged bases: (1) the administrative law
judge ("ALJ") did not include her limitations
caused by migraines in his assessment of her residual
functional capacity ("RFC"); and (2) the ALJ failed
to follow the treating physician rule when he gave
"little weight" to her neurologist's opinion
that work would increase the frequency of her migraines and
she was disabled by migraines.
reasons stated herein, the Court will DENY
the Commissioner's motion, GRANT
Plaintiff's motion, and REMAND for
further administrative proceedings consistent with this
December 9, 2014, Plaintiff filed a claim for DIB alleging
she had been disabled since August 27, 2014. [Tr. 15]. Her
claim was denied initially and upon reconsideration. She
requested a hearing, which was held before ALJ Wesley R.
Kliner on May 17, 2017. [Tr. 15]. The ALJ denied
Plaintiff’s claim on October 6, 2017. On April 21,
2018, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
a review. [Tr. 1-4]. Thus, Plaintiff has exhausted her
administrative remedies, and the ALJ’s decision stands
as the final decision of the Commissioner subject to judicial
The ALJ's Findings
made the following findings which are relevant to this
1. Plaintiff meets the insured status of the Social Security
Act through December 31, 2018. [Tr. 17].
2. Plaintiff has severe impairments of major motor seizures,
borderline intellectual functioning, organic mental
disorders, and migraines. [Id.].
3. Plaintiff does not meet one of the listed impairments for
disability found in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
4. The Plaintiff "has the residual functional capacity
to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except
she could never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds; should
never work at unprotected heights; should never work around
exposed, dangerous moving mechanical parts; and could never
operate a motor vehicle. The claimant should be limited to
performing simple, routine tasks and making simple
work-related decisions as a result of neurologic issues. She
might be off task less ...