United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILHOIT, UNITED STATE DISTRICT JUDGE.
has brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §405(g) to
challenge a final decision of the Defendant denying his
application for disability insurance benefits. The Court
having reviewed the record in this case and the dispositive
motions filed by the parties, finds that the decision of the
Administrative Law Judge is supported by substantial evidence
and should be affirmed.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
filed his current application for disability insurance
benefits in October 2015, alleging disability beginning in
October 2014, due to "back injury, severe arthritis,
PTSD with anxiety, TBI, bilateral sensorineural hearing loss,
recurrent tinnitus, TMJ, allergic rhinitis, GERD, left
shoulder surgery and right elbow surgery" (Tr. 199).
This application was denied initially and on reconsideration.
Thereafter, upon request by Plaintiff, an administrative
hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Anne
Shaughnessy (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein Plaintiff,
accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing, Suman
Srinivasan, a vocational expert (hereinafter "VE"),
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 impairment(s) 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. 20-30). Plaintiff was 39 years old on the alleged date
of onset. He has a high school education education (Tr. 201).
His past relevant work experience consists of work as an
infantryman and recruiter (Tr. 208).
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. 22).
then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from facet
arthritis of the lumbar spine and PTSD, 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. 23-24).
further found that Plaintiff could not return to his past
relevant work (Tr. 28) but determined that he has the
residual functional capacity ("RFC") to perform a
range of light work with the following restrictions:
He can climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds occasionally. He
should avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold, wetness,
vibration, and hazards. He can understand and remember simple
and detailed work procedures and instructions. He can
tolerate coworkers and accept supervision in a generally
object-focused context with infrequent and casual contacts
with only occasional contact with the public. He would need a
static work setting with infrequent changes.
finally concluded that these jobs exist in significant
numbers in the national and regional economies, as identified
by the VE (Tr. 29).
the ALJ found Plaintiff not to be disabled at Step 5 of the