United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division at PIKEVILLE
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, 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 May
2015, alleging disability beginning on April 2, 2010, due to
"vaginal and vulvar cancers: stage 1, broken forearm 2
steel plate and 9 pins in right forearm, rheumatoid
arthritis, 2 broken fingers, fractured right wrist, COPD,
hypertension, manic depression: suicidal thoughts and
anxiety" (Tr. 284).
application was denied initially and on reconsideration.
Thereafter, upon request by Plaintiff, an administrative
hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Maia Hodges
(hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein Plaintiff, accompanied
by counsel, testified. At the hearing, Anthony T. Michael,
Jr., a vocational expert (hereinafter "VE"), also
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.
Plaintiff was 46 years old at the time of the hearing
decision. She has a 12th grade education (Tr.
285). There are no records of a job after 2008; before 2008,
Plaintiff worked as a cashier, sandwich maker and shelter
worker (Tr. 36 and 286).
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. 27).
then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from
depression, anxiety, osteoarthritis, COPD, obesity and
hypertension, which he found to be "severe" within
the meaning of the Regulations (Tr. 27-28).
3, the ALJ found that Plaintiffs impairments did not meet or
medically equal any of the listed impairments (Tr. 28-30).
further found that Plaintiff could not perform her past
relevant work (Tr. 36) but determined that she has the
residual functional capacity ("RFC") to perform
light exertion work that required no more than frequent
climbing of ramps and stairs; occasional climbing of ladders,
ropes, and scaffolds; frequent stooping, kneeling, crouching,
and crawling; avoidance of concentrated exposure to vibration
and pulmonary irritants; no more than frequent handling with
the right arm; no reaching behind with the right arm.
Further, the ALJ found that Plaintiff can understand,
remember, and carry out simple instructions with a brief
initial learning period and little judgment required; subject
to occasional changes in the work setting; occasional
interaction with co-workers and supervisors, with no tandem
tasks; no interaction with the general public; and low stress
work, defined as no fast-paced production rates (Tr. 30).
finally concluded that these jobs exist in significant
numbers in the national and regional economies, as identified
by the VE (Tr. 36).
the ALJ found Plaintiff not to be disabled at Step 5 of the
sequential evaluation process.
Appeals Council denied Plaintiffs request for review and
adopted the ALJ's decision as the final decision of the
Commissioner . Plaintiff thereafter filed this civil action
seeking a reversal of the Commissioner's decision. Both