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Lyons v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

April 17, 2017

DANNY E. LYONS PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM, OPINION AND ORDER

          H. BRENT BRENNENSTUHL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         BACKGROUND

         Before the Court is the complaint (DN 1) of Plaintiff Danny E. Lyons seeking judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Both the Plaintiff (DN 15) and Defendant (DN 18) have filed a Fact and Law Summary.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 73, the parties have consented to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge conducting all further proceedings in this case, including issuance of a memorandum opinion and entry of judgment, with direct review by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the event an appeal is filed (DN 13). By Order entered November 4, 2016 (DN 14), 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.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         Plaintiff filed an application for Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits on May 20, 2014 (Tr. 177, 290-306). Plaintiff alleged that she became disabled on December 15, 2013 (as amended Tr. 314) as a result of:

1. Heart disease (open heart surgery)
2. Hypertension
3. High cholesterol
4. Sleep apnea
5. Hearing loss- tinnitus & tube in ears
6. Depression sleep apnea

(Tr. 318). Administrative Law Judge Richard E. Guida conducted a video hearing on July 21, 2015. The ALJ was in Baltimore, Maryland, and Plaintiff was present in Bowling Green, Kentucky and represented by Mary Burchett-Bower. Also present and testifying was Abbe May, a vocational expert.

         In a decision dated November 5, 2015, the ALJ evaluated this adult disability claim pursuant to the five-step sequential evaluation process promulgated by the Commissioner (Tr. 174-193). At the first step, the ALJ found Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since December 15, 2013, the amended alleged onset date (Tr. 179). At the second step, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff's coronary artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and obesity are “severe” impairments within the meaning of the regulations (Tr. 179). Notably, at the second step, the ALJ also determined that Plaintiff's hearing loss, sleep apnea, and depressive disorder are “non-severe” impairments within the meaning of the regulations (Tr. ...


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