Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nash v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

September 30, 2019

ANGELICA NASH, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          DAVID J. HALE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Angelica Nash filed this action seeking review of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security to deny Nash’s application for disability-insurance benefits and supplemental social security income. (Docket No. 1) The case was referred to Magistrate Judge Colin H. Lindsay for report and recommendation. (D.N. 11) Judge Lindsay issued his Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation on August 8, 2019, recommending that the Commissioner’s decision be affirmed. (D.N. 21) Nash timely objected to the report and recommendation. (D.N. 22) After careful consideration, the Court will adopt in full Judge Lindsay’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation.

         I.

         Nash protectively filed an application for child’s insurance benefits based on disability, an application for disability-insurance benefits, and an application for supplemental security income on March 20, 2015. (D.N. 9-5, PageID # 334-53) On June 20, 2017, an administrative hearing was conducted regarding Nash’s application. (D.N. 9-2, PageID # 82-124) On September 13, 2017, the ALJ issued an opinion denying Nash’s claims. (Id., PageID # 57-74) The ALJ found, among other things, that Nash had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform “light work” as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(bb) and 416.967(b). (Id., PageID # 67) She also found that considering Nash’s age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant No. in the national economy that Nash can perform. (Id., PageID # 73) Finally, the ALJ found that Nash was not under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act from the amended alleged onset date through the date of the ALJ’s decision. (Id., PageID # 74) The appeals council denied Nash’s request for review on February 28, 2018. (Id., PageID # 39-41) Nash filed this action on April 24, 2018, challenging the Commissioner’s denial of her application for disability-insurance benefits. (D.N. 1) The Court referred the matter to Magistrate Judge Colin H. Lindsay, who recommended that the Commissioner’s decision be affirmed. (D.N. 21)

         II.

         When reviewing a report and recommendation, the Court reviews de novo “those portions of the report of specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The Court may adopt without review any portion of the report to which no objection is made. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). On review, the Court “may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). Accordingly, the Court will review de novo the portions of Judge Lindsay’s recommendation to which Nash objects to determine whether relief is warranted.

         In reviewing an ALJ’s decision, the Court asks “whether it is supported by substantial evidence and was made pursuant to proper legal standards.” Roger v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). “Substantial evidence is defined as more than a scintilla of evidence but less than a preponderance; it is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Id. (internal quotations omitted). The Court “may not try the case de novo, or resolve conflicts in evidence, nor decide questions of credibility.” Cohen v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs., 964 F.2d 524, 528 (6th Cir. 1992) (quoting Garner v. Heckler, 745 F.2d 383, 387 (6th Cir. 1984)). Where substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s decision, the Court “must affirm.” Staymate v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 681 F.App'x 462, 466 (6th Cir. 2017) (citing Barker v. Shalala, 40 F.3d 789, 794 (6th Cir. 1994)). Moreover, “[t]he findings of the [ALJ] are not subject to reversal merely because there exists in the record substantial evidence to support a different conclusion.” Buxton v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 246 F.3d 762, 772-73 (6th Cir. 2001); see also Her v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 203 F.3d 388, 389-90 (6th Cir. 1999) (“Even if the evidence could also support another conclusion, the decision of the Administrative Law Judge must stand if the evidence could reasonably support the conclusion reached.”).

         Nash argues that (1) the ALJ erred in failing to conclude that she met the requirements for Listing 12.05; (2) the ALJ did not properly evaluate the opinions of Dr. Riley and Esther Luttrell; and (3) the ALJ should have awarded a closed period of benefits. For the reasons detailed below, the Court finds Nash’s arguments unpersuasive.

         A. Five-Step Evaluation Process

         The Commissioner has promulgated regulations setting forth a five-step sequential evaluation process for evaluating a disability claim. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920 (2018). Nash argues the ALJ erred in finding that Nash did not meet the requirements of Listing 12.05. (D.N. 22) Nash also asserts that the ALJ’s RFC findings are unsupported by substantial evidence because the ALJ did not give proper weight to the opinions of Dr. Riley and Esther Luttrell. (Id.) The Court construes these arguments to mean that Nash objects to the ALJ’s analysis under steps three and four of the five-step process.

         1. Step Three

         First, Nash argues that the ALJ erred in failing to conclude that she met the requirements for Listing 12.05. At step three of the evaluation process, an ALJ considers whether the claimant has an impairment that meets the criteria set forth in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P., Appendix 1. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920. “[A] claimant who meets the requirements of a listed impairment will be deemed conclusively disabled.” Rabbers v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 582 F.3d 647, 653 (6th Cir. 2009). The claimant bears the burden of proving her impairment satisfies all of the specified criteria in a given listing. Sullivan v. Zebley, 493 U.S. 521, 530 (1990).

         Nash now challenges the ALJ’s discussion of whether her impairment meets or equals Paragraph B(2) of Listing 12.05. (D.N. 22, PageID # 1239) Paragraph B(2) requires

significant deficits in adaptive functioning currently manifested by extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.