Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fender v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

March 29, 2018

RICHARD M. FENDER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Robert J. Conrad, Jr., United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Richard M. Fender's (“Plaintiff”) Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 9), and Memorandum in Support, (Doc. No. 10), Nancy A. Berryhill's (“Defendant” or “Commissioner”) Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 11), and Memorandum in Support, (Doc. No. 12).

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff seeks judicial review of Defendant's denial of his social security claim. (Doc. No. 1). On September 16, 2013, Plaintiff filed his application for a period of disability (“DIB”) and for supplemental security income (“SSI”) under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405 et seq. (Doc. Nos. 8 to 8-8: Administrative Record (“Tr.”) at 207, 209). Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon consideration. (Tr. 73-74, 103-04).

         On July 16, 2015, a hearing was held in front an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). (Tr. 45-67). On August 4, 2015, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled. (Tr. 23-44). The Appeals Council denied review of the ALJ's decision on December 12, 2016, making the ALJ's opinion the final decision of Defendant. (Tr. 1-7). Plaintiff now appeals the ALJ's decision, requesting this Court to issue a remand pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §405(g).

         B. Factual Background

         The question before the ALJ was whether the claimant is disabled under sections 216(i), 233(d), and 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act. (Tr. 26). 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 from January 30, 2012, his alleged onset date, through August 4, 2015, the date of the ALJ's decision. (Tr. 37-38).

         The 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, not disabled;
(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 yes, disabled;
(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 not disabled. (Tr. at 37-38).

         To begin with, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff had not engaged in any substantial gainful activity since January 30, 2012, Plaintiffs alleged onset date. (Tr. 28). At the second step, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: “osteoarthritis; panic disorder; and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” (Tr. 28-29). At the third step, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff did not have an “impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.” (Tr. 29).

         Next, the ALJ assessed Plaintiffs RFC and found that he retained the capacity to perform:

perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) that involves no climbing of ladders, ropes or scaffolds; no more than occasional climbing of ramps or stairs, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching or crawling; cannot have any concentrated exposure to hazards, vibration or loud noise; not perform any work that would require an acute hearing ability; and the following non-exertional limitations: can perform and maintain concentration and persistence for simple, routine, repetitive tasks for at least two hour segments; he could adapt to routine changes in a work setting; and he would be limited to work that would require no more than occasional interaction with the public, co-workers or supervisors.

(Tr. 30). In making his finding, the ALJ specifically stated that he “considered all symptoms and the extent to which these symptoms can reasonably be accepted as consistent with the objective medical evidence and other evidence.” (Id.). The ALJ further opined that he “considered opinion evidence in accordance with the requirements of 20 CFR 404.1527 and 416.927 and SSRs [Social Security Rulings] 96-2p, 96-5p, 96-6p and 06-3p.” (Id.).

         At the fourth step, the ALJ found that Plaintiff could not perform his past relevant work. (Tr. 36). Finally, at the fifth step, the ALJ concluded that, after “[c]onsidering [Plaintiff's] age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that [Plaintiff] ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.