United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILHOIT JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
has brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §405(g) to
challenge a final decision of the Defendant denying
Plaintiffs application for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income benefits. The Court having
reviewed the record in this case and the dispositive motions
filed by the parties, and being otherwise sufficiently
advised, for the reasons set forth herein, finds that the
decision of the Administrative Law Judge is supported by
substantial evidence and should be affirmed.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
filed her current application for disability insurance
benefits and supplemental security income benefits in June
2012, alleging disability since January 2010, due to plantar
fasciitis, obesity, depression, osteoarthritis, lower disc
degeneration, neck and right shoulder pain, persistent pain
in right wrist, forearm, shoulder and neck, anxiety (Tr.
256). This application was denied initially and on
reconsideration. Thereafter, upon request by Plaintiff, an
administrative hearing was conducted by Administrative Law
Judge Jonathon Stanley (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein
Plaintiff, accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing,
Joyce P. Forrest, a vocational expert (hereinafter
"VE"), also testified.
hearing, pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 416.920, the ALJ
performed the following five-step sequential analysis in
order to determine whether the Plaintiff was disabled:
Step 1: If the claimant is performing substantial gainful
work, he is not disabled.
Step 2: If the claimant is not performing substantial gainful
work, his impairments) must be severe before he can be found
to be disabled based upon the requirements in 20 C.F.R.
Step 3: If the claimant is not performing substantial gainful
work and has a severe impairment (or impairments) that has
lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at
least twelve months, and his impairments (or impairments)
meets or medically equals a listed impairment contained in
Appendix 1, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4, the claimant is
disabled without further inquiry.
Step 4: If the claimant's impairment (or impairments)
does not prevent him from doing his past relevant work, he is
Step 5: Even if the claimant's impairment or impairments
prevent him from performing his past relevant work, if other
work exists in significant numbers in the national economy
that accommodates his residual functional capacity and
vocational factors, he is not disabled.
issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled
(Tr. 21-34). Plaintiff was 39 years old when she claims her
disability began and 44 years old at the time of the hearing
decision. Her higher education consists of two years of
college (Tr. 257). Her past relevant work experience consists
of work as a retail manager, assistant manager and clerk (Tr.
1 of the sequential analysis, the ALJ found that Plaintiff
had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the
alleged onset date of disability (Tr. 23).
then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from
obesity; neck pain with radiculopathy; right shoulder and arm
pain; degenerative arthritis of the forearm and wrists
bilaterally with pain/tendinopathy; osteoarthritis affecting
the shoulders and hands bilaterally, which he found to be
"severe" within the meaning of the Regulations (Tr.
3, the ALJ found that Plaintiffs impairments did not meet or
medically equal any of the listed impairments (Tr. 24). In
doing so, the ALJ specifically considered Listings ...