United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. Wilhoit, Jr. Judge United States District Judge
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. 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.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
filed his current application for disability insurance
benefits alleging disability beginning on due to bulging
discs in his back and pain and swelling in his right knee
(Tr. 201). This application was denied initially and on
reconsideration. Thereafter, upon request by Plaintiff, an
administrative hearing was conducted by Administrative Law
Judge Theresa Merrill (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein
Plaintiff, accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing,
William Ellis, a vocational expert (hereinafter
"VE"), also testified.
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.
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
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.
issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled.
Plaintiff was 38 years old at the time of the hearing
decision. He completed the 1 l!h grade and
received his GED. His past relevant work experience consists
of work as a shuttle car operator in a coal mine (Tr. 202).
1 of the sequential analysis, the ALJ found that Plaintiff
had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the
alleged onset date of disability.
then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from
obesity, lumbar disc disease and a history of right tibial
plateau fracture, which he found to be "severe"
within the meaning of the Regulations.
3, the ALJ found that Plaintiffs impairments did not meet or