United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
CHARLES C. CHILDRESS PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Brent Brennenstuhl United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the complaint (DN 1) of Charles C Childress
(“Plaintiff") seeking judicial review of the final
decision of the Commissioner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g). Both the Plaintiff (DN 13) and Defendant (DN 16) have
filed a Fact and Law Summary.
to General Order No. 2014-17, this matter has been referred
to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge to review
the Fact and Law Summaries and submit Findings of Fact,
Conclusions of Law and Recommendations. By Order entered
October 3, 2016 (DN 12), the parties were notified that oral
arguments would not be held unless a written request therefor
was filed and granted. No such request was filed.
filed applications for Disability Insurance Benefits and
Supplemental Security Income Benefits on May 24, 2013 (Tr.
218, 220). Plaintiff alleged that he became disabled on
January 1, 2013, as a result of scoliosis, pinched nerves in
the neck, numbness in his hand, migraines, bulging discs, and
high blood pressure (Tr. 236). Administrative Law Judge
Stanley K. Chen (“ALJ") conducted a video hearing
on December 4, 2014, from Baltimore, Maryland (Tr. 54,
72-74). Plaintiff and his attorney Mary G. Burchett-Bower
participated in the video hearing from Bowling Green,
Kentucky (Id.). David Ascher Burnhill, a vocational
expert, testified during the video hearing (Id.).
decision dated February 6, 2015, the ALJ evaluated this adult
disability claim pursuant to the five-step sequential
evaluation process promulgated by the Commissioner (Tr.
54-66). The ALJ found that Plaintiff met the insured status
requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31,
2014 (Tr. 56). At the first step, the ALJ found Plaintiff has
not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 1,
2013 the alleged onset date (Tr. 56). At the second step, the
ALJ determined that Plaintiff has the following severe
impairments: mild scoliosis, cervical and lumbar degenerative
disc disease, tendinopathy of the right shoulder, obesity,
post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), and
depressive disorder, not otherwise specified (Tr. 56). The
ALJ determined that Plaintiff's single seizure did not
meet the duration requirement to be a severe impairment, and
her migraines are a “non-severe" impairment (Tr.
57). At the third step, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff does
not have an impairment or combination of impairments that
meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in
Appendix 1 (Tr. 57).
fourth step, the ALJ found Plaintiff has the residual
functional capacity to perform less than a full range of
light work (Dr. 59). More specifically, the ALJ found as
[T]he claimant can lift up to 20 pounds occasionally and 10
pounds frequently, stand and walk up to 6 hours and sit up to
6 hours in an 8 hour workday with normal breaks. The claimant
requires a sit/stand option, changing positions 5 minutes
every half an hour. However, the claimant would be able to
change positions at his workstation without being off task.
He is limited to occasional climbing of ladders, ropes or
scaffolds, frequently climbing of ramps and stairs, and can
frequently balance, frequently stoop, frequently kneel,
frequently crouch or frequently crawl. The claimant should
avoid repetitive rotations, flexion or hyperextension of the
neck. The claimant is limited to frequent overhead reaching
with the right upper extremity. He is limited to frequent
gross and fine manipulation in dealing with the right upper
extremity. Finally, the claimant can perform simple, routine,
repetitive tasks and is limited to occasional interaction
with the public.
(Tr. 59). Relying on testimony from the vocational expert,
the ALJ found that Plaintiff is unable to perform any of his
past relevant work (Tr. 64).
proceeded to the fifth step where he considered
Plaintiff's residual functional capacity, age, education,
and past work experience as well as testimony from the
vocational expert (Tr. 65-66). The ALJ found that Plaintiff
is capable of performing a significant number of jobs that
exist in the national economy (Id.). Therefore, the
ALJ concluded that Plaintiff has not been under a
“disability, " as defined in the Social Security
Act, from January 1, 2013 through the date of the decision,
February 6, 2015 (Tr. 66).
timely filed a request for the Appeals Council to review the
ALJ's decision (Tr. 44-45). Additionally, Plaintiff
submitted additional medical evidence in support of his
request for review (Tr. 6-39, 47-50). The Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review of the ALJ's
decision (Tr. 1-5).