United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
CHARLENE A. TARR CLARK, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
THOMAS D. SCHROEDER, District Judge.
Plaintiff Charlene A. Tarr Clark brought this action pursuant to Sections 205(g) and 1631(c)(3) of the Social Security Act (the "Act"), as amended (42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3)), to obtain judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying her claim for Disability Insurance Benefits under Title II of the Act. (Doc. 1.) The parties have filed cross-motions for judgment (Docs. 7, 9), and the administrative record has been certified to the court for review. For the reasons set forth below, the Commissioner's motion will be granted, Clark's motion will be denied, and this case will be dismissed.
Clark filed her application for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") on September 22, 2009, alleging a disability onset date of November 9, 2007. (Tr. at 118-19.) Her application was denied initially (id. at 67) and upon reconsideration (id. at 68). Thereafter, Clark requested a hearing de novo before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). (Id. at 92-93.) Clark, along with her attorney and a vocational expert ("VE"), attended the subsequent hearing on May 5, 2011. (Id. at 27.) The ALJ ultimately determined that Clark was not disabled within the meaning of the Act (id. at 26) and, on December 12, 2011, the Appeals Council denied Clark's request for review of the decision, thereby making the ALJ's conclusion the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of judicial review (id. at 1-5).
In rendering his disability determination, the ALJ made the following findings later adopted by the Commissioner:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through September 30, 2011.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 9, 2007, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: tarsal tunnel syndrome of the right foot, fasciitis of the right foot, diabetes, kidney stones, obesity, depression, anxiety, mild mental retardation (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) except frequent but not continuous foot control operation with the right; never climb ramps or stairs; never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds; never balance; occasional stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl; frequent but not continuous handling objects that is gross manipulation with the left non-dominant hand; frequent but not continuous fingering, that is fine manipulation of items no smaller than the size of a paper clip with the left non-dominant hand; able to remember and carry out one to two step instructions; able to perform simple, routine and repetitive tasks; no interaction with the public; occasional interaction with co-workers.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work ...