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Phillips v. Berryhill
United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
December 6, 2017
STEPHEN E. PHILLIPS, Plaintiff,
NANCY BERRYHILL, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LINDSAY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Stephen Phillips (“Plaintiff”) challenges the
Commissioner's denial of his claims for disability
insurance benefits (“DIB”). (DN 1.) On April 18,
2016, Plaintiff consented to the undersigned's
jurisdiction. (DN 5.) For the following reasons, the Court
AFFIRMS the Commissioner's decision.
Summary of Facts
March 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed an application for DIB. (DN
11-5.) The Commissioner denied his initial application and
again upon reconsideration. (DN 11-4, #112, 117.) Plaintiff
then appeared for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”), who later issued an opinion
denying Plaintiff's claim. (DN 11-2, #45.) 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, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since August 21, 2011, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: lumbar
degenerative disc disease status post discectomy, leg pain,
and obesity (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
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 and 404.1526).
5. 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 404.1567(a) except the claimant should not climb
ladders, ropes or scaffolding. The claimant is able to climb
ramps and stairs occasionally, as well as occasionally stoop,
kneel, crouch and crawl. The claimant should not do any
repetitive stooping. The claimant should avoid concentrated
exposure to temperature extremes, vibrations and hazards. The
claimant would need to stand up briefly two to three times an
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on August 27, 1967 and was 44 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 45-49, on
the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
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 SSR 82-41
and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant ...
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