United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
King, Magistrate Judge United States District Court.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's fact and law
summary in support of complaint seeking judicial review,
pursuant to the fourth sentence of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g),
of the final decision of the Commissioner denying her claim
for Social Security disability benefits. Fact and law
summary, Docket 15. Additionally, Plaintiff filed a motion to
remand to the Commissioner for consideration of new and
material evidence pursuant to the sixth sentence of Section
405(g). Motion, Docket 16. The Commissioner filed a
responsive fact and law summary in opposition to both the
complaint and the motion. Fact and law summary, Docket 19.
parties consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned
Magistrate Judge to determine this case, with any appeal
lying before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Docket 12.
reasons below, Plaintiff failed to prove materiality of the
allegedly new and material evidence, and the administrative
law judge's (ALJ's) decision was supported by
substantial evidence. Therefore, the Court will DENY
Plaintiff's motion to remand (Docket 16), AFFIRM the
Commissioner's final decision, and DISMISS
facts and procedural history
alleges that she became disabled on March 11, 2014 after she
fell and hurt herself. Administrative record (AR), p. 555.
2014, Plaintiff began treatment with neurosurgeon William A.
Schwank. AR, p. 649. At approximately the same time in June
2014, she applied for Supplemental Security Income benefits
pursuant to Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
August 2014 and February 2015, Dr. Schwank performed lumbar
surgeries. AR, pp. 645-646, 720-721.
August 2015, Plaintiff became a full-time student at a
October 2015, Plaintiff told treating advanced practice
registered nurse (APRN) Angela Jessie that “she has
seen her neurosurgeon [Dr. Schwank] and advised him she is
getting better and would like to work a part time job as well
as attend school.” AR, p. 885.
October 2015, Dr. Schwank completed a Medical Source
Statement opining disabling limitations. For example, Dr.
Schwank found that Plaintiff: 1) Can sit for a total (in an 8
hour working day, with normal breaks) of less than 2 hours
and can stand/walk for a total of less than 2 hours (which
does not allow for full-time work); 2) Would need to take
unscheduled breaks every 2 hours to lie down for 30 minutes
at a time; 3) Would be off task due (due to severe symptoms
interfering with attention / concentration needed to perform
even simple tasks) 25% of the time or more; and 4) Would be
absent from work as a result of impairments / treatment more
than 4 days per month. See Dr. Schwank's
findings at AR, pp. 881-883 and vocational expert's
(VE's) testimony based on those findings at AR, pp.
December 2015, the ALJ issued his decision, finding that
Plaintiff was not disabled from June 2014 (the application