United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
SCOTT E. GREASAMAR, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
J. Conrad, Jr. United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 9), and Memorandum in
Support, (Doc. No. 10), and Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 12), and Memorandum in Support,
(Doc. No. 13).
Scott E. Greasamar (“Plaintiff”) seeks judicial
review of Defendant Social Security Commissioner's
(“Defendant” or “Commissioner”)
denial of his social security claim. (Doc. No. 1). On July
13, 2014, Plaintiff filed his application for a period of
disability and disability insurance benefits
(“DIB”) and supplemental security income
(“SSI”) under Title II and Title XVI of the
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405 et seq.
(Doc. Nos. 8 to 8-8: Administrative Record
(“Tr.”) at 142). In his application, Plaintiff
alleged an inability to work due to disabling conditions
beginning on September 1, 2013. (Id.).
Plaintiff's application was denied initially on August
19, 2014 and upon reconsideration on November 12, 2014.
(Id. at 19). A video hearing was then held on March
23, 2016 before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
Sherman D. Schwartzberg. (Id. at 33-54). In 2016,
the ALJ denied Plaintiff's claims and the Appeals Council
thereafter denied Plaintiff's request for review,
rendering the ALJ's decision the final determination of
Defendant. (Id. at 1-5, 16-33).
question before the ALJ was whether Plaintiff was under a
“disability” as that term of art is defined for
Social Security purposes, at any time between September 1,
2013, and September 30, 2015, the date Plaintiff was last
insured. (Tr. at 19). To establish entitlement to
benefits, Plaintiff has the burden of proving that he was
disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act.
Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 146 n.5 (1987). The
ALJ ultimately concluded that Plaintiff was not under a
disability at any point in the relevant timeframe. (Tr. at
Social Security Administration has established a five-step
sequential evaluation process for determining if a person is
disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a). The five steps are:
(1) whether claimant is engaged in substantial gainful
activity-if yes, not disabled;
(2) whether claimant has a severe medically determinable
physical or mental impairment, or combination of impairments
that meet the duration requirement in § 404.1509-if no,
(3) whether claimant has an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals one of the
listings in appendix 1 and meets the duration requirement-if
(4) whether claimant has the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform his or her past relevant
work-if yes, not disabled; and
(5) whether considering claimant's RFC, age, education,
and work experience he or she can make an adjustment to other
work-if yes, not disabled.
See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(i-v). In this
case, the ALJ determined at the fifth step that Plaintiff was