United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Brent Brennenstuhl, United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the complaint (DN 1) of Glenn Aaron Armistead
(“Plaintiff") seeking judicial review of the final
decision of the Commissioner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g). Both the Plaintiff (DN 17) and Defendant (DN 18) have
filed a Fact and Law Summary. Additionally, Plaintiff is
filed a motion for relief (DN 16).
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 March 17, 2017 (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
protectively filed an application for Supplemental Security
Income on September 16, 2015 (Tr. 11, 236-41). Plaintiff
alleged that he became disabled on November 1, 2013 as a
result of a leg amputation, depression, posttraumatic stress
disorder, and high blood pressure (Tr. 11, 267).
Administrative Law Judge Jason R. Yoder (“ALJ")
conducted a hearing on August 30, 2016 in Evansville,
Indiana. Plaintiff was present and represented by attorney S.
Ryan Vanover, who participated by telephone (Tr. 11). Tina
Stambaugh was present and testified as a vocational expert
during the hearing (Id.).
decision dated September 14, 2016 the ALJ evaluated
Plaintiff's adult disability claim pursuant to the
five-step sequential evaluation process promulgated by the
Commissioner (Tr. 11-23). At the first step, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since September 16, 2015 the application date (Tr.
14). At the second step, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff
has the following severe impairments: “left lower
extremity below-the-knee amputation with some residual
phantom pain, alcohol use disorder in sustained partial
remission, cannabis use disorder in partial remission,
cocaine use disorder in remission, amphetamine-type use
disorder in remission, intermittent explosive disorder (IED),
panic disorder, unspecified depression disorder, and
antisocial personality disorder” (Id.).
Notably, at the second step, the ALJ also determined that
Plaintiff's benign hypertension and vitamin D deficiency
are “non-severe" impairments within the meaning of
the regulations (Id.). At the third step, the ALJ
concluded that Plaintiff does not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one
of the listed impairments in Appendix 1 (Tr. Id.).
fourth step, the ALJ made the following finding regarding
Plaintiffs residual functional capacity:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 416.967(a) except he can lift and carry 10 pounds
occasionally and less than 10 pounds frequently. He can sit
for at least 6 out of 8 hours, and stand and walk for about 2
out of 8 hours. He cannot push, pull, or operate foot
controls with his left lower extremity. He can never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, kneel, or crawl. He can
occasionally climb ramps and stairs, balance, stoop, and
crouch. He must avoid all exposure to dangerous work hazards
such as exposed moving machinery in unprotected heights. He
can understand and remember simple instructions, and carry
out simple, routine tasks that require little independent
judgment or decision-making. He should not perform tasks that
have stringent speed or strict rate-based production
requirements, and involving few, if any, daily changes in a
work task or work environment. He can have occasional,
intermittent interaction with co-workers and supervisors. He
can have no interaction with the public.
(Tr. 17). The ALJ found that Plaintiff has no past relevant
work (Tr. 22).
proceeded to the fifth step where he considered Plaintiffs
residual functional capacity, age, education, and past work
experience as well as testimony from the vocational expert
(Tr. 22-23). The ALJ found that Plaintiff is capable of
performing a significant number of jobs that exist in the
national economy (Id.). Therefore, the ALJ concluded
that Plaintiff has not been under a “disability, "
as defined in the Social Security Act, from September 16,
2015, the date that the application was filed, through the
date of the decision, September 14, 2016 (Tr. 23).
timely filed a request for the Appeals Council to review the
ALJ's decision (Tr. 7). The Appeals Council denied
Plaintiffs request for review of the ALJ's decision (Tr.
Court has construed the complaint (DN 1), the motion for
relief (DN 16), and the fact and law summary (DN 17) in
pro se Plaintiff's favor, as required by
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-521 (1972).
Plaintiff raises numerous claims, including, but not limited
to: (1) the wrongful denial of Supplemental Security Income
benefits; (2) discrimination by the Social Security Agency
(presumably as a result of the decision not to award
benefits); (3) concealment as a result of some unspecified
conduct by the Agency; (4) civil fraud as a result of some
unspecified conduct by the Agency; (5) a violation of the
False Claim Act as a result of ...