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Harvey v. Berryhill

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

March 9, 2017

SHARON HARVEY, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, [1]Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          L. Patrick Auld United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff, Sharon Harvey, brought this action pursuant to the Social Security Act (the “Act”) to obtain judicial review of a final decision of Defendant, the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, denying Plaintiff's claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”). (Docket Entry 1.) Defendant has filed the certified administrative record (Docket Entry 6 (cited herein as “Tr. __”)), and both parties have moved for judgment (Docket Entries 8, 10; see also Docket Entry 9 (Plaintiff's Memorandum); Docket Entry 11 (Defendant's Memorandum)). For the reasons that follow, the Court should remand this matter for further administrative proceedings.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff applied for DIB, alleging an onset date of April 4, 2011. (Tr. 146-47.) Upon denial of that application initially (Tr. 68-77, 89-92) and on reconsideration (Tr. 78-88, 96-99), Plaintiff requested a hearing de novo before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) (Tr. 100-01). Plaintiff, her attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) attended the hearing. (Tr. 31-67.) The ALJ subsequently ruled that Plaintiff did not qualify as disabled under the Act. (Tr. 12-25.) The Appeals Council thereafter denied Plaintiff's request for review (Tr. 1-6, 9-11, 245-49), thereby 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 June 30, 2016.
2. [Plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 4, 2011, the alleged onset date.
. . .
3. [Plaintiff] has the following severe impairments: lumbar degenerative disc disease with radiculopathy and hyperlipidemia.
. . .
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 . . . except she can sit for six hours and stand and/or walk for six hours in an eight hour working day with fifteen minute breaks every four hours; is limited to frequent operation of foot controls with the lower extremities bilaterally; frequent reaching overhead with the upper extremities bilaterally; frequent climbing of ramps and stairs; no climbing of ladders and scaffolds; frequent stooping, kneeling, and crouching; and only occasional crawling. Further, [Plaintiff] is limited to occasional exposure to unprotected heights; frequent exposure to moving mechanical parts; occasional exposure to weather and weather extremes, such as extreme heat, cold, and humidity and wetness; and nonconcentrated exposure to dust, odors, fumes, and pulmonary irritant[s].
. . .
6. [Plaintiff] is unable to perform any past ...

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