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Felty v. Colvin

United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland

March 19, 2015

ROBIN RENEE FLETY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Henry R. Wilhoit, Jr., United States 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 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 her current application for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits on December 15, 2010, alleging disability beginning on October 15, 2008, due to trouble sitting and walking and a lack of education (Tr. 254). This application was denied initially and on reconsideration. On August 12, 2012, an administrative hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Andrew J, Chwalibog (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein Plaintiff, accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing, Anthony T. Michael, Jr., 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 1, 2012, the ALJ issued his decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled (Tr. 26-35). Plaintiff was 36 years old at the time of alleged onset. She has a 10, h grade education (Tr. 254), Her past relevant work experience consists of work as a restaurant cashier and cook (Tr. 255).

The ALJ noted that Plaintiff filed prior applications, alleging disability beginning on June 1, 2007, Those applications were denied initially, upon reconsideration and by an ALJ following a hearing. The ALJ's decision was rendered on June 21, 2010. No appeal was taken. Significantly, the ALJ noted that no new evidence was presented in the instant claim.

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 (Tr. 28).

The ALJ then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from obesity, sprains . Strains, mood disorder, personality disorder and borderline intellectual functioning, which he found to be ...


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