United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
LORI K. VARGAS, Plaintiff,
NANCY BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
F. BIVINS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Lori K. Vargas (hereinafter “Plaintiff”), seeks
judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security denying her claim for supplemental security
income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1381, et seq. On April 11, 2018, the
parties consented to have the undersigned conduct any and all
proceedings in this case. (Doc. 17). Thus, the action was
referred to the undersigned to conduct all proceedings and
order the entry of judgment in accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73. Upon
careful consideration of the administrative record and the
memoranda of the parties, it is hereby
ORDERED that the decision of the
Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
Procedural History 
filed her application for benefits on August 18, 2014. (Doc.
11 at 77). Plaintiff alleges that she has been disabled since
October 22, 2013, due to breast cancer, no energy,
depression, body aches and pains, and continuous headaches.
(Id. at 161, 165).
application was denied and upon timely request, she was
granted an administrative hearing before Administrative Law
Judge L. Dawn Pischek (hereinafter “ALJ”) on
April 22, 2016. (Id. at 45). Plaintiff attended the
hearing with her counsel and provided testimony related to
her claims. (Id. at 50). A vocational expert
(“VE”) also appeared at the hearing and provided
testimony. (Id. at 62). On June 6, 2016, the ALJ
issued an unfavorable decision finding that Plaintiff is not
disabled. (Id. at 24). The Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review on April 13, 2017.
(Id. at 5). Therefore, the ALJ's decision dated
June 6, 2016, became the final decision of the Commissioner.
exhausted her administrative remedies, Plaintiff timely filed
the present civil action. (Doc. 1). Oral argument was
conducted on May 16, 2018. (Doc. 20). This case is now ripe
for judicial review and is properly before this Court
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3).
Issue on Appeal
Whether the ALJ properly considered the opinions of
Plaintiff's treating psychiatrist, Dr. Magdi Tageldin,
M.D., and consultative psychologist, John W. Davis,
was born on July 16, 1969, and was forty-six years of age at
the time of her administrative hearing on April 22, 2016.
(Doc. 11 at 45, 161). Plaintiff completed high school and two
years of college education. (Id. at 51).
has no past relevant work. (Id. at 37, 51-52). At
her hearing, Plaintiff testified that she cannot work because
she “always feels tired” from going through
chemotherapy; she has neuropathy in her legs; and she has
trouble focusing. (Id. at 52). Plaintiff testified
that she has “good days and bad days.”
testified that she lives with her parents and her three
younger children (ages 17, 12, and 8) and an infant
grandchild. (Id. at 51). She takes her children to
school, and she picks up her granddaughter from daycare.
(Id. at 53). She also helped care for her mother
after her mother had a stroke. (Id.). In addition,
Plaintiff cooks, does laundry, drives, shops, handles a
savings account, uses a checkbook, reads, walks, and visits
with family. (Id. at 57). Plaintiff testified that
she walks for exercise. (Id. at 60).
testified that she takes Lexapro for depression/anxiety, that
she sees a therapist once a month, and that her anxiety and
depression cause her to be nervous and to not want to be
around people. (Id. at 54, 56, 58, 61). Plaintiff
also testified that her medication helps some and that she
has completed treatment for cancer and is now cancer free.
(Id. at 54, 62).