United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Lindsay, Magistrate Judge.
the Court is the complaint (DN 1) of plaintiff Rita Townsend
(“plaintiff”). In her 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 Fact and Law Summary (DN 17). The Commissioner also
filed a Fact and Law Summary (DN 19).
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 (DN 16.) Therefore, this matter is ripe for review. For
the reasons set forth below, the final decision of the
Commissioner is affirmed.
protectively filed an application for disability insurance
and supplemental social security benefits on February 12,
2013, alleging that she became disabled on February 12, 2013.
(Tr. 96, 459.) On March 16, 2015 Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) William C. Zuber conducted a hearing on
both applications. Plaintiff was present and represented by
counsel, Nathan Haney. Tricia Oakes, a vocational expert,
also testified by telephone. In a decision dated July 14,
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 these
1. Plaintiff met the insured requirements of the Social
Security Act through June 30, 2018. (Tr. at 21.)
2. Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since February 12, 2013, the alleged onset date.
3. Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: morbid
obesity; degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine;
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”);
congestive heart failure; depression; and anxiety.
4. Plaintiff does not have an 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. at 24.)
5. Plaintiff has the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a) and § 416.967(a) except no
more than occasional stooping and crouching and no crawling,
kneeling, climbing ladders, ropes, scaffolds, exposure to
dust, fumes, gases or odors, temperature extremes, humidity,
dangerous machinery or unprotected heights. Plaintiff can
perform simple unskilled routine tasks with occasional
contact with coworkers and supervisors, no contact with the
general public, and rare and gradually introduced changes in
the routine work environment while sustaining concentration,
persistence, or pace for two-hour periods at a time.
(Id. at 25.)
6. Plaintiff is unable to perform any past relevant work.
(Id. at 27.)
7. Plaintiff was born on September 19, 1967 and was 45-years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 45-49, on
the alleged disability onset date. (Id. at 28.)
8. Plaintiff has a limited education and is able to
communicate in English. (Id.)
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 plaintiff is not disabled, whether or not plaintiff has
transferable job skills. (Id.)
10. Considering plaintiff's age, education, work
experience, and RFC, there are jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy that she can perform.
11. Plaintiff has not been under a disability, as defined in
the Social Security Act, from February 12, 2013, through the