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Newcomb v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, Pikeville

September 29, 2017

LARRY REED NEWCOMB, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          KAREN K. CALDWELL, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Plaintiff Larry Reed Newcomb brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to obtain judicial review of an administrative decision denying his claim for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits. The Court, having reviewed the record, will AFFIRM the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security.

         I. Procedural background and the administrative decision

         Newcomb was born on July 23, 1961, and he filed a claim for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits, alleging disability beginning on May 15, 2012. (AR. 166).

         In denying Newcomb's claim, the administrative law judge (“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 Newcomb has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 15, 2012, the alleged onset date of disability. (AR at 14).

         At step two, the ALJ found that Newcomb has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hernia with prior surgical repair. (AR at 14).

         At step three, the ALJ found Newcomb does not have an impairment or a combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments of the federal regulations. (AR at 15).

         Before proceeding to step four, the ALJ found that Newcomb has:

[T]he residual functional capacity to lift/carry and push/pull up to 20 pounds occasionally and up to 10 pounds frequently, stand/walk for six hours in an eight-hour workday and sit for six hours in an eight-hour workday. He can occasionally climb, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl and frequently balance. The claimant must avoid temperature extremes and concentrated exposure to humidity, dust, fumes, gasses, odors, and poor ventilation.

(AR at 15-16).

         At step four, the ALJ found Newcomb is unable to perform any past relevant work. (AR at 18).

         At step five, the ALJ determined that, considering Newcomb's age, education, work experience, and RFC, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform. (AR at 19). These ...


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