United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
PATRICK AULD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Isis Druckemiller, 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 Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”).
(Docket Entry 2.) Defendant has filed the certified
administrative record (Docket Entry 9 (cited herein as
“Tr. ”)), and both parties have moved for
judgment (Docket Entries 12, 14; see also Docket
Entry 13 (Plaintiff's Memorandum); Docket Entry 15
(Defendant's Memorandum)). For the reasons that follow,
the Court should enter judgment for Defendant.
applied for SSI. (Tr. 322-30.) Upon denial of that application
initially (Tr. 173-83, 185, 223-31) and on reconsideration
(Tr. 196-209, 211, 233-42), Plaintiff requested a hearing de
novo before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
(Tr. 72, 243-45). Plaintiff, her non-attorney representative,
and a vocational expert (“VE”) attended the
hearing. (Tr. 32-70.) The ALJ subsequently ruled that
Plaintiff did not qualify as disabled under the Act. (Tr.
10-25.) The Appeals Council thereafter denied Plaintiff's
request for review (Tr. 1-7, 8-9, 454-56), thereby making the
ALJ's ruling the Commissioner's final decision for
purposes of judicial review.
rendering that disability determination, the ALJ made the
following findings later adopted by the Commissioner:
1. [Plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since April 22, 2014, the amended onset date.
2. [Plaintiff] has the following severe impairments: bipolar
disorder/major depressive disorder; learning disorder by
history; personality disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD); attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD);
generalized anxiety disorder; history of
ventricular-peritoneal shunt with headaches.
3. [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,
4. . . . [Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to
perform a full rage of work at all exertional levels, but
with the following non-exertional limitations: [Plaintiff]
can generally understand and perform simple, routine,
repetitive tasks; she can maintain concentration, persistence
and pace to stay on task for 2-hour periods over [the] course
of [a] typical 8-hour workday with normal breaks, in a low
stress work setting, which is further defined to mean no
production-pace or quota-based work, rather a goal-oriented
job primarily dealing with things rather than people; with no
more than occasional changes in the work setting; and no more
than occasional social interaction with supervisors and/or
coworkers; but no work with the public as part of the job,
such as sales or negotiation, though incidental orcasual
contact as it might arise in the workday is not precluded.
5. [Plaintiff] has no past relevant work. . . .
9. 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.
10. [Plaintiff] has not been under a disability, as defined
in the [Act], from April 22, 2014, the amended onset date,
through the date of this decision.
(Tr. 16-25 (bold font and internal parenthetical citations
law “authorizes judicial review of the Social Security
Commissioner's denial of social security benefits.”
Hines v. Barnhart, 453 F.3d 559, 561 (4th Cir.
2006). However, “the scope of [the Court's] review
of [such a] decision . . . is extremely limited.”
Frady v. Harris, 646 F.2d 143, 144 (4th Cir. 1981).