United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. HOOD SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the parties' cross-Motions
for Summary Judgment (DEs 7 and 9) on Plaintiff's appeal
of the Commissioner's denial of his current application
for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB). The matter having
been fully briefed by the parties is now ripe for this
Court's review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Overview of the Process and the Instant Matter
determining whether an individual is disabled, an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) uses a five step
1. An individual who is working and engaging in substantial
gainful activity is not disabled, regardless of the
claimant's medical condition.
2. An individual who is working but does not have a
“severe” impairment which significantly limits
his physical or mental ability to do basic work activities is
3. If an individual is not working and has a severe
impairment which “meets the duration requirement and is
listed in appendix 1 or equal to a listed
impairment(s)”, then he is disabled regardless of other
4. If a decision cannot be reached based on current work
activity and medical facts alone, and the claimant has a
severe impairment, then the Secretary reviews the
claimant's residual functional capacity and the physical
and mental demands of the claimant's previous work. If
the claimant is able to continue to do this previous work,
then he is not disabled.
5. If the claimant cannot do any work he did in the past
because of a severe impairment, then the Secretary considers
his residual functional capacity, age, education, and past
work experience to see if he can do other work. If he cannot,
the claimant is disabled.
Preslar v. Sec'y of Health & Hum. Servs., 14
F.3d 1107, 1110 (6th Cir. 1994)(citing 20 C.F.R. §
Standard of Review
reviewing a decision made by the ALJ, the Court may not
“‘try the case de novo, resolve conflicts in
evidence, or decide questions of credibility.'”
Ulman v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 693 F.3d 709, 713
(6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Bass v. McMahon, 499 F.3d 506, 509
(6th Cir. 2007)). “The ALJ's findings are
conclusive as long as they are supported by substantial
evidence.” 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Foster v.
Halter, 279 F.3d 348, 353 (6th Cir. 2001) (citations
omitted). Substantial evidence “‘means such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept.'” Foster, 279 F.3d at 353 (quoting
Kirk v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 667
F.2d 524, 535 (6th Cir. 1991)).
applied for disability insurance benefits (DIB) under Title
II of the Social Security Act, alleging he became disabled on
February 19, 2013 (Tr. 309). Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
Ronald M. Kayser denied Plaintiff's application. The
agency's Appeals Council then denied Plaintiff's
request that it review the ALJ's decision, rendering it