United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
MARY A. TURBERVILLE, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security,  Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. PATRICK AULD, Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff, Mary A. Turberville, brought this action pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act ("the Act") to obtain judicial review of a final decision of Defendant, the Commissioner of Social Security, denying Plaintiff's claim for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Act. The Court has before it the certified administrative record (cited herein as "Tr. ___") and the parties have filed cross-motions for judgment (Docket Entries 7, 10). For the reasons that follow, the Court should enter judgment for Defendant.
Plaintiff applied for DIB, alleging a disability onset date of July 29, 2006. (Tr. 101-05.) After denial of that application initially (Tr. 48, 50-53) and on reconsideration (Tr. 49, 58-66), Plaintiff requested a hearing de novo before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") (Tr. 67). Plaintiff and a vocational expert ("VE") appeared at the hearing. (Tr. 20-47.) The ALJ thereafter ruled Plaintiff not disabled within the meaning of the Act. (Tr. 9-19.) The Appeals Council subsequently denied Plaintiff's request for review, thereby making the ALJ's determination the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of judicial review. (Tr. 1-5.)
In rendering this disability ruling, the ALJ made the following findings later adopted by the Commissioner:
1. [Plaintiff] meets the insured status requirements of the... Act through December 31, 2011.
2. [Plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 29, 2006, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
3. [Plaintiff] has the following severe impairments: psoriasis, hypertension, controlled diabetes mellitus, right knee arthritis, and anxiety and depression (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. [Plaintiff] does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals any of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that [Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except [Plaintiff] would be limited to non-complex, routine, repetitive tasks (i.e., unskilled work) (decrease in the ability to concentrate on and attend to work tasks and/or borderline intellectual functioning (BIF)(SSR 71-84)[)]. [Plaintiff] would be unable to work at a production rate involving piece work (production=work stress).
In light of the findings regarding residual functional capacity ("RFC") and the testimony of the VE, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff could perform her past relevant work as a sales attendant as actually and generally performed. (Tr. 18.) Accordingly, the ALJ decided that Plaintiff had not suffered from a "disability, " as defined ...