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Hull v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

March 31, 2017

DEBI J. HULL, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, [1] Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          KAREN K. CALDWELL, CHIEF JUDGE

         Plaintiff Debi J. Hull brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to obtain judicial review of an administrative decision denying Hull's claim for disability insurance benefits. The Court, having review the record, will affirm.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         This Court's review of the decision by the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) is limited to determining whether it “is supported by substantial evidence and was made pursuant to proper legal standards.” Rabbers v. Comm'r Soc. Sec. Admin., 582 F.3d 647, 651 (6th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         Hull filed for benefits in May 2012, alleging disability due to numerous conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder, breathing problems, no hearing in her right ear, back injury, foot injuries, wrist injury, arthritis, depression, ataxia, bipolar disorder, memory problems, and tinnitus. (Administrative Record (“AR”) at 57).

         In denying Hull's claim, the ALJ engaged in the five-step sequential process set forth in the regulations under the Social Security Act. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)-(e); see, e.g., Walters v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec, 127 F.3d 525, 529 (6th Cir. 1997).

         At step one, the ALJ determined that Hull has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 20, 2011, the alleged onset date. (AR at 14).

         At step two, the ALJ determined that Hull suffers from the following severe impairment: arthropathies. (AR at 15).

         At step three, the ALJ found that Hull did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (AR at 17).

         Before proceeding to step four, the ALJ determined Hull has the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform medium work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(c) and explained:

Specifically, the claimant is limited to lifting/carrying 50 pounds only occasionally and lifting/carrying 25 pounds frequently, as opposed to constantly; standing/walking six hours in an eight-hour workday; sitting for six hours in an eight-hour workday; and only occasional exposure to dust and fumes.

(AR at 17-18).

         At step four, the ALJ found that Hull has no past relevant work. (AR at 21).

         At step five, the ALJ determined that, considering the RFC described above and Hull's age, education, and work experience, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in ...


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