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Taylor v. Berryhill

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

March 19, 2019

RILEY TAYLOR, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          Colin H Lindsay, Magistrate Judge

          Claimant Riley Taylor, Jr. has filed this lawsuit challenging the Social Security Commissioner's denial of his request for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and supplemental security income (“SSI”). The parties have voluntarily consented to the undersigned Magistrate Judge's jurisdiction over all proceedings in this case, including entry of judgment. (DN 14.) For the reasons below, the Commissioner's final decision is AFFIRMED.

         I. Background

         Taylor applied for DIB and SSI on October 17, 2013, claiming a disability onset date of April 1, 2012. (DN 12-5, PageID # 258.) The Commissioner denied his application initially and again upon reconsideration. (DN 12-2, PageID # 147, 156, 169, 178.) Taylor then appeared before Administrative Law Judge Daniel A. Traver (the “ALJ”) for a hearing on May 3, 2016. (DN 12-2, PageID # 94.) On May 18, 2016, the ALJ also found that Taylor was not disabled. (PageID # 73.) 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, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 1, 2012, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairment: Degenerative Disc Disease of the Lumbar Spine Status Post Remote Laminectomy at ¶ 4-5 (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. . . . [T]he claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a), except the claimant is able to perform standing or walking for two hours in an eight-hour work day and sitting for six hours in an eight-hour work day subject to allowance of an option to change positions between sitting and standing for thirty minutes at thirty minute intervals; the claimant is never able to climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds or perform work involving the use of vibratory tools; and the claimant's work should be simple and repetitive, taught by demonstration, and without great variation from day to day.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on April 5, 1971 and was 40 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44, on the alleged disability onset date. The claimant subsequently changed age category to a younger individual age 45-49 (20 CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
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 transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41 and 20 CFR 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 CFR ...

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