United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
KIM J. MEAUX PUCKETT, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
REBECCA GRADY JENNINGS, DISTRICT JUDGE
Kim J. Meaux Puckett (“Puckett”) filed this
action seeking review of the denial of disability insurance
benefits and supplemental security income by Defendant
Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”).
[DE 1]. The case was referred to United States Magistrate
Judge Colin Lindsay who issued Findings of Fact, Conclusions
of Law and Recommendation (“R&R”) that the
Commissioner's decision be affirmed. [DE 23]. Objections
were timely filed by Puckett, [DE 24], and the Commissioner
responded, [DE 25]. This matter is ripe for adjudication. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court OVERRULES
Puckett's Objections [DE 24], and ACCEPTS Magistrate
Judge Lindsay's R&R without modification [DE 23].
R&R accurately sets forth the factual and procedural
background of the case and is incorporated by reference. [DE
23 at 877-88]. In sum, Puckett applied for disability
insurance benefits and supplemental security income. [DE 1 at
⁋ 4]. After the Commissioner denied her claim both
initially and upon reconsideration, Puckett appeared before
Administrative Law Judge John R. Price (“ALJ”).
Id. The ALJ ruled against Puckett and found:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through June 30, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since October 19, 2010, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
cervical and lumbar degenerative disc disease and depressive
disorder (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. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find
that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except she is limited to occasionally crouching
and crawling but no climbing of ladders, ropes, or scaffolds.
She should avoid extremely cold temperatures and concentrated
exposure to vibration. Further, the claimant is limited to
avoidance of the general public and to occasional interaction
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a bindery worker and as a quality control worker. This
work does not require the performance of work-related
activities precluded by the claimant's residual
functional capacity (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from October 19, 2010, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f) and
appeal to the ALJ, Puckett argued: (1) the ALJ did not
consider whether her obesity constituted a severe impairment
[DE 23 at 881]; (2) the ALJ did not factor in her obesity
when determining whether she met the requirements in Listing
1.04 and/or 12.04 [Id.]; (3) the ALJ's residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) analysis did not
consider all available medical evidence, specifically the
opinion of Puckett's treating orthopedist [Id.];
and (4) the ALJ's hypothetical question to the vocational
expert failed to represent the evidence of her limitations.
Id. After reviewing the record and relevant law,
Magistrate Judge Lindsay found that the ALJ's final
decision was supported by substantial evidence and rejected
each of Puckett's arguments.
her arguments in her appeal to the ALJ, Puckett now objects
to Magistrate Judge Lindsay's findings in the R&R
that: (1) substantial evidence supports the ALJ's finding
that Puckett's obesity was not a severe impairment; (2)
the ALJ considered the combined effects of Puckett's
mental and physical impairments when determining whether her
impairments qualified under Listing 1.04 and 12.04; (3) the
ALJ's RFC analysis was supported by substantial evidence;
and (4) ...