United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILLHOLT 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. 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 in May 2014, alleging disability beginning on
September 3, 2010, due to sleep apnea, diabetes, obesity,
high blood pressure and "nerves" (Tr. 231). This
application was denied initially and on reconsideration.
Thereafter, upon request by Plaintiff, an administrative
hearing was conducted by Administrative Law Judge Diana
Erickson (hereinafter "ALJ"), wherein Plaintiff,
accompanied by counsel, testified. At the hearing, Jennifer
Ruhnkle, a vocational expert (hereinafter "VE"),
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 was 46 years old when he alleged he became disabled
and 47 years old when his insured status for disability
insurance benefits expired in December 2015. Plaintiff must
establish that his disability began before his insured status
expired; therefore, the time period at issue is between May
2014 and December 2015. 20 C.F.R. § 404.131(a) &
1 of the sequential analysis, the ALJ found that Plaintiff
had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the
alleged onset date of disability through his date last
insured (Tr. 31).
then determined, at Step 2, that Plaintiff suffers from
obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus, obesity,
dysthymic disorder and depressive disorder, which he found to
be "severe" within the meaning of the Regulations
3, the ALJ found that Plaintiffs impairments did not meet or
medically equal any ...