United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
JAMES L. BILLER, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LINDSAY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is the complaint (DN 1) of plaintiff James L.
Biller (“Biller”) filed on December 11, 2015. In
his complaint, Biller seeks judicial review of the final
decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (“the
Commissioner”). See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
(2012) (“Any individual, after any final decision of
the Commissioner of Social Security . . . may obtain a review
of such decision by a civil action commenced within sixty
days after the mailing to him of notice of such decision . .
. .”). Biller filed a Fact and Law Summary (DN 10) and
accompanying memorandum (DN 10-1) on April 1, 2016. The
Commissioner filed a Fact and Law Summary on May 25, 2016 (DN
parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate
judge to enter judgment in this case with direct review by
the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the event an appeal is
filed (See DN 8.) Therefore, this matter is ripe for
review. For the reasons set forth below, the final decision
of the Commissioner is affirmed.
filed an application for disability and disability insurance
benefits on or about November 23, 2011. (R. 75, 127, 210.)
Biller alleged that he became disabled on April 1, 2011 as a
result of back pain and back surgery. (R. 214, 254, 256.)
Administrative Law Judge D. Lyndell Picket (“the
ALJ”) conducted a hearing on May 29, 2014.
(Id. at 87.) Biller was present and represented by
counsel Michael R. Green. (Id. at 89.) William
Harpool, a vocational expert, also testified at the hearing.
(Id.) In a decision dated June 10, 2014, the ALJ
engaged in the five-step evaluation process promulgated by
the Commissioner to determine whether an individual is
disabled. In doing so, the ALJ made the following findings.
1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of
the Social Security Act on March 30, 2012.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from his alleged onset date of
April 1, 2011, through his date last insured of March 30,
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the
following severe impairment: degenerative disc disease of the
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have
an impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
5. That, through the date last inured, the claimant had the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(a) except
that he needs a sit/stand option every 30 minutes along with
1-5 minutes to change positions from sitting to standing and
vice versa (along with normal breaks and lunch). The claimant
is limited to occasionally climbing ramps, stairs, ladders,
ropes, or scaffolds, balancing, stooping, kneeling,
crouching, and crawling. He should avoid concentrated
exposure to vibration secondary to complaints of back pain
due to degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine.
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to
perform any past relevant work.
7. The claimant was born on October 27, 1962 and was 49 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 45-49, on
the date last insured.
8. The claimant has a limited education and is able to
communicate in English.
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is “not disabled, ” whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills.
10. Through the date last insured, considering the
claimant's age, education, work experience, and RFC,
there were jobs that existed in significant numbers in the
national economy that the claimant could have performed.
11. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in
the Social Security Act, at any time from April 1, 2011, the
alleged onset date, through March ...