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Wheeler v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

February 21, 2019

KELLY R. WHEELER, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          REPORT & RECOMMENDATION

          COLIN H LINDSAY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Claimant Kelly R. Wheeler has filed suit challenging the Social Security Commissioner's denial of her request for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”). The District Judge has referred this matter to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation. (DN 14.) For the reasons below, the undersigned recommends that the Commissioner's decision be AFFIRMED.

         I. Background

         Wheeler filed an application for DIB on August 23, 2013. (DN 13-5, PageID # 212.) The claim was denied initially on December 19, 2013, and upon reconsideration on April 24, 2014. (DN 13-4, PageID # 157, 162.) On March 25, 2016, Administrative Law Judge Patrick B. Kimberlin III (the “ALJ”) conducted a hearing on Wheeler's application. (DN 13-2 PageID # 98.) The ALJ then issued an unfavorable decision on May 4, 2016. (DN 13-2, PageID # 77.) In his written opinion, the ALJ made the following findings.

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 15, 2012, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and major depressive disorder (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. . . . [T]he claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(a) except that she can perform frequent but not constant handling, fingering, and feeling for both fine and gross manipulation; she cannot climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; she can occasionally perform all other postural activities; she should have no exposure to hazards, no work on uneven surfaces, and no outdoor work with exposure to sunlight. She can understand, remember, and carry out simple, routine job duties and instructions. She can engage in occasional work-related contact with coworkers and supervisors but should have no contact with the general public.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 C.F.R. 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on June 19, 1984 and was 28 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on the alleged disability onset date (20 C.F.R. 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 C.F.R. 404.1564).
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 rod not the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41 and 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform (20 C.F.R. 404.1569 and 404.1569(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from July 15, 2012, through the date of this ...

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