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Tweedle v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

October 11, 2017

JOEL A. TWEEDLE, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY BERRYHILL, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, [1]Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Colin Lindsay, Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Joel Tweedle (“Plaintiff”) challenges the Commissioner's denial of his claims for supplemental security income benefits (“SSI”) and disability insurance benefits (“DIB”). (DN 1.) On September 7, 2016, Plaintiff consented to the undersigned's jurisdiction. (DN 14.) For the following reasons, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's decision.

         I. Summary of Facts

         On August 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed an application for both SSI and DIB. (DN 15, #1384.) The Commissioner denied his initial application and again upon reconsideration. (DN 12-4, #158, 164, 171.) Plaintiff appeared for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”), who later issued an opinion denying Plaintiff's claim. (DN 12-2, #57.) In his written opinion, the ALJ made the following findings:

         1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2019.

         2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 4, 2014, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq).

         3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, osteoarthritis, history of broken and repaired tibia/fibula, and lumbar degenerative disc disease with radiculopathy (20 CFG 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).

         4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination or impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).

         5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFG 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except is limited to: occasional climbing of ramps/stairs, kneeling, crouching, crawling, and balancing but no climbing of ladders/ropes/scaffolds; and should avoid concentrated exposure to hazards like unprotected heights and dangerous machinery.

         6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).

         7. The claimant was born on October 23, 1962, and was 51 years old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, on the alleged disability onset date (CFG 404.1563 and 416.963).

         8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).

         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 (see SSR82-41 and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).

         10. Considering the claimants age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can ...


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