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Lewis v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

September 28, 2018



          Colin H Lindsay, Magistrate Judge United States District Court.

         Before the Court is the Complaint (DN 1) of Plaintiff, Mary Ardella Lewis (“Plaintiff'). In her Complaint, Plaintiff seeks judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (the “Commissioner”). See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2012) (“Any individual, after any final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security . . . may obtain a review of such decision by a civil action commenced within sixty days after the mailing to him of notice of such decision . . . .”). Plaintiff filed a Fact and Law Summary. (DN 15.) The Commissioner also filed a Fact and Law Summary. (DN 21.)

         The Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to enter judgment in this case with direct review by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the event an appeal is filed. (DN 14.) Therefore, this matter is ripe for review. For the reasons below, the final decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits on April 2, 2014. (R. at 275-76.) Plaintiff also filed an application for supplemental security income on the same day. (Id. at 277-83.) On March 22, 2016, Administrate Law Judge Christopher C. Sheppard (the “ALJ”) conducted a hearing on Plaintiff's application. (Id. at 44-89.) In a decision dated, April 28, 2016, the ALJ engaged in the five-step evaluation process promulgated by the Commissioner to determine whether an individual is disabled. (Id. at 21-37.) In doing so, the ALJ made these findings:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2014. (Id. at 26.)

         2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 26, 2013, the amended alleged onset date. (Id.)

3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: human immunodeficiency virus positive status (HIV); anemia; dysfunction of sacroiliac joint; degenerative disc disease; borderline intellectual functioning; and bipolar disorder. (Id.)
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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (Id. at 27.)
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a reduced range of light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b). She can lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. She can sit six hours in an eight-hour workday. She can stand and/or walk six hours in an eight-hour workday, but in intervals of no more than 45 minutes continuously. She can push and pull up to the above-stated exertional limitations. The claimant can climb ramps and stairs frequently and she can climb ropes, ladders, or scaffolds occasionally. She can stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl frequently. The claimant should avoid workplace hazards such as unprotected heights and dangerous machinery. She should avoid full-body vibration. The claimant can perform simple, routine tasks. She can maintain attention and concentration for two-hour segments over the course of the eight-hour workday. She can interact as needed with supervisors and coworkers sufficiently for task completion and she can interact with the general public occasionally. The claimant can adapt to gradual changes in the routine work environment. Her work should not require fast-paced production quotas or goals. The claimant requires oral instructions or initial demonstration. (Id. at 29.)
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work. (Id. at 35.)
7. The claimant was born on September 19, 1963 and was 45 years old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, on the alleged disability onset date. (Id.)
8. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English. (Id.)
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability because using the Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding that the claimant is “not disabled, ” whether or not the claimant has transferrable job skills. (Id.)
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant No. in the national economy that the claimant can perform. (Id.)
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act from October 26, 2013, through the ...

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