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Hensley v. Astrue

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland

March 14, 2014

ALVIN HENSLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HENRY R. WILHOIT, Jr., Senior Judge.

Plaintiff has brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §405(g) to challenge a final decision of the Defendant denying Plaintiff's application for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits. The Court having reviewed the record in this case and the dispositive motions filed by the parties, and being otherwise sufficiently advised, for the reasons set forth herein, finds that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge is supported by substantial evidence and should be affirmed.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff filed his current application for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits on July 30, 2010, alleging disability beginning on January 20, 2010, due to depression, anxiety and polymorphous light eruption (Tr. 227). This application was denied initially and on reconsideration (Tr. 101-102, 108-109). On September 14, 2011, an administrative hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Jerry Meade (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein Plaintiff, accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing, Dwight McMillion, a vocational expert (hereinafter "VE"), also testified.

At the hearing, pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 416.920, the ALJ performed the following five-step sequential analysis in order to determine whether the Plaintiff was disabled:

Step 1: If the claimant is performing substantial gainful work, he is not disabled.
Step 2: If the claimant is not performing substantial gainful work, his impairment(s) must be severe before he can be found to be disabled based upon the requirements in 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(b).
Step 3: If the claimant is not performing substantial gainful work and has a severe impairment (or impairments) that has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least twelve months, and his impairments (or impairments) meets or medically equals a listed impairment contained in Appendix 1, Subpart P, Regulation No.4, the claimant is disabled without further inquiry.
Step 4: If the claimant's impairment (or impairments) does not prevent him from doing his past relevant work, he is not disabled.
Step 5: Even if the claimant's impairment or impairments prevent him from performing his past relevant work, if other work exists in significant numbers in the national economy that accommodates his residual functional capacity and vocational factors, he is not disabled.

On October 6, 2011, the ALJ issued his decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled (Tr. 27-38). He has a high school education and his relevant work experience consists of work as a car detailer and car salesman (Tr. 49, 54).

At Step 1 of the sequential analysis, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date of disability and that he meets the insured status requirements through June 30, 2011 (Tr.29, Findings No. 1 and 2).

The ALJ found that Plaintiff had the following impairments that were severe pursuant to 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(c), 416.920(c):1 polymorphous light eruption syndrome (PLES); generalized anxiety disorder; major depressive disorder; somatoform disorder; and personality disorder (Tr. 29, Finding No.3). However, the ALJ found Plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (the listings) (Tr. 30, Finding No.4).

The ALJ also found Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels (Tr. 31, Finding No.5). However, the ALJ found Plaintiff had several nonexertional limitations. The ALJ found Plaintiff must avoid concentrated exposure to irritants such as fumes, odors, dusts, gases, and poorly ventilated areas (Tr. 31, Finding No.5). Additionally, the ALJ found Plaintiff must avoid exposure to the sun that lasts more than 15 minutes (Tr. 31, Finding No.5). The ALJ further found Plaintiff could understand and remember familiar, detailed instructions and procedures that require only brief learning periods (Tr. 31, Finding No.5). The ALJ also found Plaintiff could sustain concentration, effort, and pace to perform familiar detailed tasks that require only some independent judgment involving minimal variations (Tr. 31, Finding No.5). Further, the ALJ found Plaintiff could no more than occasionally interact with the public and no more ...


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