United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
JOHN P. WADE, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Lindsay, Magistrate Judge.
the Court is the complaint (DN 1) of plaintiff John P. Wade
(“plaintiff”). In his complaint, plaintiff 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 . . . .”). Plaintiff
filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (DN 17) and
supporting memorandum (DN 17-1), as well as a Fact and Law
Summary (DN 17-2). The Commissioner also filed a Fact and Law
Summary (DN 23).
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 supplemental social security
benefits on June 24, 2013, alleging an amended disability
onset date of June 24, 2013. (Tr. 61-62, 161.) On April 28,
2015, Administrative Law Judge Dwight Wilkerson (“the
ALJ”) conducted a hearing in Louisville, Kentucky.
(Id. at 32.) Plaintiff was present and represented
by counsel Shawnee Franklin. (Id.) William Irvin, a
vocational expert, also testified at the hearing.
(Id.) In a decision dated May 29, 2015, 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. Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since June 24, 2013, the application date. (Id. at
2. Plaintiff has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine,
osteoarthritis, insulin dependent diabetes, and hypertension.
3. Plaintiff does not have impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart
P, Appendix 1. (Id.)
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the ALJ
found that plaintiff has the residual functioning capacity
(“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20
C.F.R. 416.967(b) except no climbing of ladders, ropes, and
scaffolding and only occasional climbing of ramps and stairs,
stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling. Plaintiff can
occasionally reach overhead with the right upper extremity.
(Id. at 23.)
5. Plaintiff is unable to perform any past relevant work.
(Id. at 26.)
6. Plaintiff was born on September 17, 1961 and was 51 years
old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching
advanced age, on the date the application was filed.
7. Plaintiff has a limited education and is able to
communicate in English. (Id.)
8. 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 plaintiff is “not disabled, ” whether or not
plaintiff has transferable job skills. (Id.)
9. Considering plaintiff's age, education, work
experience, and RFC, there are jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy that plaintiff can perform.
10. Plaintiff has not been under a disability, as defined in
the Social Security Act, since June 24, 2013, the date the
application was filed. (Id. at 27.)
timely requested an appeal to the Appeals Council on or about
July 15, 2015. (Id. at 16.) On June 10, 2016, the
Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review.
(Id. at 1.) At that point, the ALJ's decision
became the final decision of the Commissioner. 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.981, 422.210(a); see also 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(h) (discussing finality of the Commissioner's
decision). Plaintiff timely filed this action on February
August 11, 2016.