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Wood v. Astrue

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

March 14, 2014

DARYL WOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HENRY R. WILHOIT, Jr., Senior District Judge.

Plaintiff has brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §405(g) to challenge a final decision of the Defendant denying Plaintiffs application for 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 supplemental security income benefits on February 17, 2009, alleging disability beginning on January 2, 2009, due to heart problems, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, emphysema, problems with his legs, right arm, and shoulder, and diabetes (Tr. 235, 242, 250).

This application was denied initially and on reconsideration (Tr. 94-106, 113-115).

On January 31, 2011, an administrative hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Larry Temin (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein Plaintiff, accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing, Robert Breslin, a vocational expert (hereinafter "VE"), also appeared.

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.

The ALJ determined that Plaintiff was not disabled (Tr. 18-26). Plaintiff was 51 years old on the date the application was filed (Tr. 18-26, 200). Plaintiff has a ninth grade (limited) education (Tr. 60) and past relevant work experience as a truck driver (Tr. 64, 236-237).

At Step 1 of the sequential analysis, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the date of ...


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