United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
TIMOTHY W. MCGUFFIN, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H Lindsay, Magistrate Judge United States District Court
the Court is the Complaint (DN 1) of Plaintiff, Timothy W.
McGuffin (“McGuffin”). In his Complaint, McGuffin
seeks judicial review of the final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security (the
“Commissioner”). See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
(2017). McGuffin filed a Fact and Law Summary. (DN 18.) The
Commissioner filed a Fact and Law Summary in response. (DN
24.) 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 23.) Therefore, this matter is ripe for
reasons stated herein, the final decision of the Commissioner
FINDINGS OF FACT
filed an application for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental Social Security income on July 24, 2014. (DN
13-5, at PageID # 322-31.) On January 27, 2017,
Administrative Law Judge Teresa A. Kroenecke (the
“ALJ”) conducted a hearing on McGuffin’s
application. (DN 13-2, at PageID # 87-130.) In a decision
dated March 31, 2017, the ALJ engaged in the five-step
evaluation process promulgated by the Commissioner to
determine whether an individual is disabled. (DN 13-2, at
PageID # 53-79.) In doing so, the ALJ made these findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2019. (Id.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since December 31, 2013, the alleged onset date.
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
coronary artery disease and hypertension status post
stenting; degenerative changes and disc disease of the lumbar
spine; degenerative changes of the cervical spine; chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease; and history of seizures.
(Id. at 59.)
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 64.)
5. [T]he claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except: the claimant requires allowance to
alternate into the sitting position from the standing and/or
walking positions every 30-45 minutes for 2-3 minutes while
at the work station and to alternate into the standing
position from the sitting position very [sic] 30-45 minutes
for 2-3 minutes while at the work station; the claimant is
able to perform up to occasional balancing, stooping,
crouching, and climbing of ramps and stairs but no kneeling,
crawling, or climbing of ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; the
claimant must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme heat,
extreme cold, humidity, wetness, vibration, or hazards, such
as unprotected heights, moving mechanical parts or driving;
and the claimant must avoid even moderate exposure to fumes,
odors, dusts, gases, and areas of poor ventilation.
(Id. at 65-66.)
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
(Id. at 77.)
7. The claimant was born on July 1, 1965 and was 48 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date. The claimant subsequently
changed age category to closely approaching advanced age.
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 transferable 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 December 31, 2013, through
the date of this decision. (Id. at 78.).
requested an appeal to the Appeals Council (DN 13-4, at
PageID # 320), which denied his request for review on October
16, 2017 (DN 13-2, at PageID # 47-49). At that point, the
ALJ’s decision became the final decision of the
Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 422.210(a)
(2019); see also 42 U.S.C. § 405(h) (discussing finality
of the Commissioner’s decision). Pursuant to 20 C.F.R.
§ 422.210(c), McGuffin is presumed to have received that
decision five days later, on ...