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Parker v. Colvin

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northeastern Division

October 23, 2014

TINA PARKER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS, District Judge.

Plaintiff Tina Parker ("Parker") brings this action pursuant to Title XVI of the Social Security Act. She seeks review of a final adverse decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration ("Commissioner"), who denied her application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI").[1] Ms. Parker timely pursued and exhausted her administrative remedies available before the Commissioner. The case is ripe for review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and § 1383(c)(3).[2] For the following reasons, the court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's decision.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On July 20, 2010, plaintiff Parker filed applications for disability, disability insurance, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. These claims were denied on November 10, 2010. She then filed a request for a hearing, which was held before Administrative Law Judge Lori Williams ("the ALJ") on May 24, 2012. The ALJ denied the claim July 3, 3012, on the grounds that Parker was not disabled. On August 10, 2013, the Appeals Council (AC) denied her request for review.

Parker was thirty-nine years old when the ALJ denied her claim in July, 2012. Parker completed the eleventh grade and has past work experience as a sewing machine operator, chicken catcher, short-order cook home health aide, treater of wooden poles, and laborer. (Tr. 89-90, 219, 229). She alleged a period of disability beginning on May 25, 2010, due to high blood pressure, swelling feet, diabetes, arm numbness, bipolar disorder, fibromyalgia, asthma, and usage of arms. (Tr. 228).

After considering Parker's medical evidence on record, her testimony at the hearing, and the testimony of a vocational expert (tr. 88-96), the ALJ found:

(1) Parker met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through September 30, 2010. (Tr. 37).

(2) She had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 25, 2010, the alleged onset date. ( Id. ).

(3) Parker had several severe impairments: obesity, hypertension, a history of bronchitis/asthma, and a depressive disorder not otherwise specified with anxiety (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c). Parker also had "multiple non-severe impairments and not medically determinable conditions as defined within the meaning of the Regulations." ( Id. ).

(4) Parker 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. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (Tr. 40).

(5) She had the residual functional capacity to: occasionally lift and/or carry up to twenty pounds and frequently lift and/or carry up to ten pounds; stand and/or walk, in combination, with normal breaks for at least six hours during an eight-hour workday and sit, with normal breaks, for up to eight hours during an eight-hour workday; frequently climb ramps and stairs but never ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; and frequently balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl. She should avoid concentrated exposure to extreme heat, wetness, humidity, and working in areas of vibration; concentrated exposure to pulmonary irritants; and all exposure to industrial hazards. She could perform simple routine tasks requiring no more than short simple instructions and simple work-related decision making with few workplace changes. She could have frequent interactions with coworkers and supervisors and only occasional interactions with the general public. (Tr. 41).

(6) Parker was capable of performing past relevant work as a sewing machine operator. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by Parker's residual functional capacity. (Tr. 47).

(7) Parker had not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from May 25, 2010, through the date of the decision (July 3, 2012). ( Id. ). In making her findings on Parker's residual functional capacity, the ALJ found that Parker's "medically determinable impairments could reasonably be expected to cause some of the alleged symptoms." (Tr. 42). However, she stated that "the claimant's statements concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of these symptoms are not credible to the extent they are inconsistent with the objective medical evidence of record, the findings of the consultative examiners, and the [] residual function capacity assessment." Id.

Following an apparently unfinished sentence - "Specifically, the objective medical evidence of record does not indicate the claimant" - the ...


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