United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
VICKY L. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Reeves United States District Judge.
matter is pending for consideration of cross-motions for
summary judgment filed by Plaintiff Vicky L. Johnson
(“Johnson”) [Record No. 12] and Nancy A.
Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“the
Commissioner”). [Record No. 14] Having reviewed the
record, and for the reasons that follow, the
Commissioner's motion will be granted. Conversely, the
relief sought by Johnson will be denied.
applied for supplemental security income and a period of
disability and disability insurance benefits in February
2013, alleging an onset disability date of December 31,
2008. [Tr. 180] After being denied benefits
initially and upon reconsideration, Johnson requested an
administrative hearing. [Tr. 11, 102-09, 112-26] Thereafter,
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Bonnie Kittinger
issued a written opinion concluding that Johnson was not
disabled under the Social Security Act (“Act”).
[Tr. 94] Johnson subsequent request for review by the Appeals
Council was denied. [Tr. 1] She has now exhausted her
administrative remedies and this case is ripe for this
Court's review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c).
forms completed in connection with her application for
benefits, Johnson listed having worked: 40 hours per week as
a dispatcher for a trucking company from 1993 to 1995; 40
hours per week in “light industrial, ran machines,
” through “temp services” from 1996 to
1999; 40 hours per week doing “factory work
inspection” for temp services; and 15 hours per week as
a cashier for Gold Star Chili. [Tr. 213] For one position,
Johnson identified her job title as “secretary”.
She reported working as a secretary for a fencing business
for 40 hours per week at $10/hour from 2004 to May of 2008.
[Tr. 213] Likewise, in another form Johnson identified
working for 40 hours per week at $10/hour for a fencing
business from January 2004 to January 2008, listing her job
title as “Secretary.” [Tr. 242] She described
this position in more detail on this form, stating that she
“answered [the] phone, took messages, faxed job bids,
insurance forms, [and] cleaned [the] office.” [Tr. 243]
Johnson also confirmed that she engaged in “writing,
complete[d] reports, ” or performed similar duties.
[Id.] She then reported lifting and carrying
“papers . . . to [the] file cabinet, fax machine[, ]
copier, ” but asserted having lifted no more than 10
pounds. [Id.] For 2004, Johnson identified earnings
of $7, 263.00 from self-employment. [Tr. 200] However, for
2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, she listed no earnings.
was 60 years of age at the time of the administrative
hearing. [Tr. 16] Additionally, she has a high school
education and completed one year of college where she studied
criminal justice. [Id.] Johnson claims she became
unable to work due to pain in her hip, back, and leg that
caused discomfort while sitting or standing for extended
periods. [Tr. 20] At the beginning of the administrative
hearing, Johnson's attorney confirmed that he had
reviewed the record and had no objections. [Tr. 14] The ALJ
then asked whether the record was complete. Counsel replied
that he had requested the records of a new primary care
physician, but did not indicate any other concerns. [Tr. 14]
testified that her last job was with Goldstar Chili, but that
she had been let go because she “wasn't catching on
to the register” and she “didn't move as fast
as they wanted [her] to.” [Tr. 19] Prior to this
position, she worked for a fencing business. [Tr. 20] The ALJ
and Johnson had the following exchange regarding
Johnson's work for the fencing business:
Q: Were you a secretary?
A: Yes. I was the, well, secretary and kind of runner for
parts and things like that.
Q: Okay. And what was the heaviest thing you lifted on that
A: I would say probably 20, 30 pounds.
Q: What would have weighed 20 or 30 pounds?
A: You know, a part, like a tractor part, a tire part, inch