United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
BRENDA L. GREEN, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge United States District Court
Plaintiff Brenda Green (“Green”) appeals the
Commissioner's decision denying her application for
supplemental security income (“SSI”) benefits and
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”). (DN 10-2,
#47.) For the reasons stated below, the Court
AFFIRMS the Commissioner's decision.
Statement of Facts
November 18, 2013, Green filed an application for DIB and
SSI. (DN 10-5, #300, 307.) The Commissioner denied her
initial application and again upon reconsideration. (DN 10-3,
#184, 217.) This was Green's second denial, as she had
previously had an application for DIB and SSI denied
following a hearing before an administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) on October 5, 2012. (Id. at
#136.) Following the second denial, Green appeared before ALJ
Candace A. McDaniel, who later issued an opinion denying
Green's claim. (DN 10-2, #63.) In her written opinion,
the ALJ made the following findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through June 30, 2013.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since October 6, 2012, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease and degenerative joint disease (20
CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1(20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526,
416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except she is allowed the option to sit or stand
at 30 to 60 minutes intervals, taking no more than 1 to 3
minutes to change positions without leaving the workstation.
She may not climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds but she may
occasionally stoop, crouch, kneel, crawl, and climb ramps and
stairs. She is able to understand, remember, and carry out
simple and routine tasks but she should not be in a job that
requires stringent production quota or assembly line pacing
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a parking lot attendant. This work does not require the
performance of work-related activities precluded by the
claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from October 6, 2012, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(1) and 416.920(1)).
(Id. at 68-77.) The appeals council denied
Green's request for review. (Id. at 47.)
Standard of Review
Social Security Act authorizes payment of DIB and SSI to
persons with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. Â§' 401 et seq.
(Title II Disability Insurance Benefits), 1381 et seq. (Title
XVI Supplemental Security Income). The term
“disability” is defined as follows:
[An i]nability to engage in any substantial gainful activity
by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental
impairment which can be expected to result in death or which
has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period
of not less than twelve (12) months.
42 U.S.C. Â§' 423(d)(1)(A) (Title II), 1382c(a)(3)(A)
(Title XVI); 20 C.F.R. '' 404.1505(a), 416.905(a);
Barnhart v. Walton, 535 U.S. 212, 214 (2002);
Abbott v. Sullivan, 905 F.2d 918, 923 (6th Cir.
1990). When a claimant files an application for DIB, the
claimant must establish that he or she became
"disabled" prior to the date his or her insured
status expired. 42 U.S.C. § 423(a), (c); Moon v.
Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1175, 1182 (6th Cir. 1990); Higgs
v. Bowen, 880 F.2d 860, 862 (6th Cir. 1988) (per
Commissioner has promulgated regulations setting forth a
five-step sequential evaluation process for evaluating a
disability claim. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(1);
Sullivan v. Finkelstein, 496 U.S. 617, 620 (1990).
Steps two, three, four, and five are at issue here.
two, the ALJ determines if the claimant has a
“severe” impairment, and it is the claimant's
burden to demonstrate that she does. 20 C.F.R.
§§404.1520(a)(4)(ii), 416.920(a)(4)(ii); Higgs
v. Bowen, 880 F.2d 860, 863 (6th Cir. 1988). To satisfy
this burden, the claimant must show he or she suffers from a
medically determinable physical or mental condition that
satisfies the duration requirement, 20 C.F.R.
§§404.1509, 416.909, and significantly limits his
or her ability to do one or more basic work activities. 20
C.F.R. §§404.1520(a)(4)(ii) and (c),
416.920(a)(4)(ii) and (c); SSR 96-3p; SSR 96-4p;
Higgs, 880 F.2d at ...