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Turner v. Colvin

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

February 5, 2015

MAXINE VICTORIA TURNER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

L. PATRICK AULD, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Maxine Victoria Turner, brought this action pursuant to 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") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"). (Docket Entry 1.) The Court has before it the certified administrative record (cited herein as "Tr. __"), as well as the parties' cross-motions for judgment (Docket Entries 15, 17). For the reasons that follow, the Court should enter judgment for Defendant.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff filed an application for DIB and SSI on May 13, 2010 (protective filing date), alleging a disability onset date of October 9, 2007. (Tr. 101-07.) Upon denial of that application (Tr. 46-47, 49-57), Plaintiff requested a hearing de novo before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") (Tr. 58-59). Plaintiff, her attorney, and a vocational expert ("VE") attended the hearing. (Tr. 29-45.) By decision dated November 30, 2011, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was not disabled under the Act. (Tr. 11-25.) On July 10, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review (Tr. 1-6), making the ALJ's ruling the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of judicial review.

In rendering that disability determination, the ALJ made the following findings later adopted by the Commissioner:

1. [Plaintiff] meets the insured status requirements of the [] Act through September 30, 2011.
2. [Plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 9, 2007, the alleged onset date.
3. [Plaintiff] has the following severe impairments: osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, obesity, a mood disorder and hypertension, well-controlled with medication.
....
4. [Plaintiff] 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.
....
5.... [Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to perform light work... however, she requires a sit/stand option. Further, she is limited to simple routine repetitive tasks involving minimal contact with the public.
....
6. [Plaintiff] is unable to perform any past relevant work.
....
10. Considering [Plaintiff's] age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that [Plaintiff] can perform.
....
11. [Plaintiff] has not been under a disability, as defined in the [] Act, from October 9, 2007, through the date of this decision.

(Tr. 16-25 (internal parenthetical ...


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