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Buckman v. Colvin

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

September 23, 2014

CYNTHIA LYNN BUCKMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, 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 Plaintiff's 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 her current application for supplemental security income benefits on November 12, 2009, alleging disability beginning on March 20, 1997, due to scoliosis, depression, arthritis, back pain, memory loss and injuries sustained in a 1991 car accident (Tr. 211). This application was denied initially and on reconsideration. On February 2, 2012, an administrative hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Samuel Rodner (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein Plaintiff, accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing, Janet Chapman, 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: Jfthe 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: Ifthe 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 April 27, 2012, the ALJ issued his decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled. Plaintiff was 46 years old on the date of application. She has a 12th grade education (Tr. 215), and although she has worked in the past, none of her employment is relevant pursuant to the regulations.

At Step 1 of the sequential analysis, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the date of her application of benefits (Tr.13).

The ALJ then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from continuing and chronic left hip pain status post surgery with an internal fixation, joint space narrowing of the left hip, severe osteoarthritis, non-extreme morbid obesity and scoliosis, which he found to be "severe" within the meaning of the Regulations (Tr. 13-15).

At Step 3, the ALJ found that Plaintiffs impairments did not meet or medically equal any of the ...


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