United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Lexington Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. Wilhoit, Jr. 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
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 his current application for disability insurance
benefits and supplemental security income benefits in July
2011, alleging disability beginning on July 1, 2011, due to
nerve damage, disc problems in his lower back and depression
(Tr. 245). He later amended his date of alleged onset to June
21, 2015 (Tr. 57).
application was denied initially and on reconsideration.
Thereafter, upon request by Plaintiff, an administrative
hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Greg
Holsclaw(hereinafter "ALJ"). At the hearing, Jackie
Rogers, a vocational expert (hereinafter "VE"),
appeared and testified.
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.
Plaintiff has a 9th grade education and past
relevant work as a forklift operator, merchandise deliverer
and cigarette stamping machine off-bearer (Tr. 281). He was
45 years old on the alleged disability onset date (Tr. 32).
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. 26). Plaintiff provided
varying accounts of why he stopped working in 2011. He
testified at the hearing that he stopped working because he
injured himself in June 2011, by falling while carrying a
basket of laundry (Tr. 55). But in August 2014, Plaintiff
reported he quit his job in 2011, because the "company
sold out" (Tr. 423).
then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from
degeneration of the lumbar spine and depression, which he
found to be "severe" within the ...