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Lampkin v. Social Security Administration, Commissioner

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

December 3, 2018

KANISHA LAMPKIN, Plaintiff,
v.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, COMMISSIONER, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          LILES C. BURKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On February 12, 2017, plaintiff Kanisha Lampkin filed a complaint (Doc. 1) seeking judicial review of an adverse final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“the Commissioner”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Plaintiff later filed an amended complaint (Doc. 4). On August 25, 2017, plaintiff filed a Fact and Law Summary (Doc. 10). On September 22, 2017 the Commissioner filed a Fact and Law Summary (Doc. 11). Therefore, this matter is ripe for review. For the reasons stated below, the final decision of the Commissioner is affirmed.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 26, 2013, plaintiff protectively filed an application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits; plaintiff also filed an application for supplemental social security income on the same day. (Doc. 10, p. 3). In both applications, plaintiff alleged disability beginning on April 22, 2013. (Id.). On July 10, 2015, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”), J. Dennis Reap, conducted a video hearing from Franklin, Tennessee. (Tr. 31). Plaintiff, her attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) were present at the hearing. (Id.). On September 3, 2015, the ALJ issued his decision. In doing so, the ALJ engaged in the five-step sequential evaluation process promulgated by the Commission to determine whether an individual is disabled. (Id. at 12-24). The ALJ made the following findings:

1. Plaintiff meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2017. (Id. at 14).
2. Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 22, 2013, the alleged onset date. (Id.).
3. Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: spine disorders; migraines; affective disorder; and anxiety disorder. (Id.).
4. Plaintiff does 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. (Id. at 15).
5. Plaintiff has the residual functioning capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except that she is limited to understanding, remembering, carrying out, and performing simple, routine, repetitive 1-2 tasks; occasional interaction with coworkers and supervisors; no public interaction; better working with things rather than people; and can adapt to occasional changes in work routines. (Id. at 17).
6. Plaintiff is capable of performing past relevant work as an assembler. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by plaintiff's RFC. (Id. at 22).
7. Plaintiff has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from April 22, 2013 through the date of his decision on September 3, 2015. (Id. at 23-24).

         Plaintiff requested an appeal to the Appeals Council, which denied her request for review on December 12, 2016. (Tr. 1). At that point, the ALJ's decision became the final decision of the Commissioner. Henry v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 802 F.3d 1264, 1267 (11th Cir. 2015). Plaintiff then filed this action on February 12, 2017. (Doc. 1).

         II. DISCUSSION

         The Social Security Act authorizes payment of disability insurance benefits and supplemental social security income to persons with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. §§ 423, 1381 (2012). The law defines disability as the “inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected ...


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