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Amos v. Saul

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville

December 12, 2019

MAYSIE D. AMOS, 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. 21]. Now before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 22 & 23] and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support [Docs. 24 & 25]. Maysie D. Amos (“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 DENY Plaintiff's motion and GRANT the Commissioner's motion.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On March 30, 2015, Plaintiff protectively filed an application for child's insurance benefits, alleging disability beginning on November 23, 2014, which was later amended to March 30, 2015. [Tr. 10, 285-305]. After Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration, Plaintiff requested a hearing before an ALJ. [Tr. 188-89]. An initial hearing was held on September 21, 2017 [Tr. 32-46], with a supplemental hearing held on December 13, 2017 [Tr. 47- 59]. On January 25, 2018, ALJ Sherman D. Schwartzberg found that Plaintiff was not disabled. [Tr. 10-22]. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on August 28, 2018 [Tr. 1-6], making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.

         Having exhausted her administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed a Complaint with this Court on September 14, 2018, 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.

         II. ALJ FINDINGS

         In his January 25, 2018 disability decision, ALJ Schwartzberg made the following findings:

1. Born on August 14, 1997, the claimant had not attained age 22 as of March 30, 2015, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.102 and 404.350(a)(5)).
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 30, 2015, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: migraines, non-epileptic seizures, narcolepsy, anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(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 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) except no climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; no concentrated exposure to fumes and other respiratory irritants and all exposure to hazards; limited to simple, unskilled work with frequent contact with co-workers and public.
6. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on August 14, 1997 and was 17 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1568).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 404.1569 and 404.1569(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from March 30, 2015, through the date of this decision ...

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