United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
J. CONRAD, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 7), and Memorandum in
Support, (Doc. No. 8), and Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment, (Doc. No. 11), and Memorandum in Support, (Doc. No.
also filed a Consent Motion for Extension of Time, (Doc. No.
10), which this Court has not considered until now. After
noticing that Plaintiff consented to this Motion and that
Defendant thereafter filed her Motion for Summary Judgment
within the time period requested, the Court hereby
GRANTS the extension of time and considers
Defendant's Summary Judgment Motion timely.
Defendant's prior Consent Motion for Extension of Time,
(Doc. No, 9), is thereby DISMISSED as moot.
Thomas Hall (“Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review
of Defendant's denial of his social security claim. (Doc.
No. 1). On or about October 30, 2014, Plaintiff filed an
application for disability insurance benefits, alleging an
inability to work due to disabling conditions beginning on
July 1, 2013. (Doc. Nos. 5 to 5-10: Administrative Record
(“Tr.”) at 26, 103). Plaintiff's application
was denied initially on May 4, 2015, and upon reconsideration
on June 9, 2015. (Tr. 129, 140).
September 7, 2016, Plaintiff, represented by counsel,
appeared and testified at a hearing before an Administrative
Law Judge (“ALJ”). (Tr. 49-102). The ALJ issued a
decision on November 2, 2016, denying Plaintiff's claim.
(Tr. 23-42). Plaintiff filed a request for review of the
ALJ's decision on or about December 9, 2016, (Tr. 22),
which was denied by the Appeals Council on February 8, 2017,
(Tr. at 8-13), and again on April 12, 2017, upon
consideration of additional information, (Tr. 1-7).
Therefore, ALJ's 2016 decision became the final decision
of the Commissioner.
question before the ALJ was whether Plaintiff was under a
“disability” as that term of art is defined for
Social Security purposes from July 1, 2013 through the date of
the ALJ's decision, November 2, 2016. (Tr. 26, 42). To
establish entitlement to benefits, Plaintiff has the burden
of proving that she was disabled within the meaning of the
Social Security Act. Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137,
146 n.5 (1987).
concluded that Plaintiff was not under a disability during
the relevant time period. (Tr. 42).
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) (2012). The five steps
(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 ...