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Williams v. Colvin

United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, Southern Division, London

March 19, 2015

JOY ALANE WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.

HENRY R. WIIHOIT, 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 Plaintiffs applications 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 applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits on November 4, 2010 and November 9, 2010, respectively, alleging disability beginning on June 28, 2008, due to rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, back and knee pain, concentric left verticular hypertrophy, mitral vaive regurgitation, anxiety, depression, panic attaches, irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, and osteopenia (Tr. 301).

The applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. Thereafter, upon request by Plaintiff, an administrative hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Todd Spangler (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein Plaintiff, accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing, Jo Ami Bullard, 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.

The ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled (Tr. 77-88). Plaintiff was 49 years old at the time of the hearing decision. She has a high school education. Her past relevant work experience consists of work as a store manager, parts clerk and supply clerk, At Step t of the sequential analysis, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date of disability (Tr. 79).

The ALJ then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, right knee degenerative joint disease, status post arthroscopic surgery, depressive disorder and anxiety disorder, which he found to be "severe" within the meaning of the Regulations (Tr. 79-80).

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


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