United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northwestern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. BURKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
9, 2017, Plaintiff, Sharon Miller, 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). On December 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a brief in
support (Doc. 11). On January 2, 2018, the Commissioner filed
a Memorandum in Support (Doc. 12). Therefore, this matter is
ripe for review. For the reasons stated below, the final
decision of the Commissioner is affirmed.
August 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed application for benefits
under Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act
alleging February 9, 2013, as her onset of disability. On
February 18, 2016, the administrative law judge
(“ALJ”), Patrick R. Digby, conducted a hearing in
Cullman, Alabama. (Tr. 16). Plaintiff, her attorney, and a
vocational expert (“VE”) were present at the
hearing. (Id.). On May 4, 2016, the ALJ issued his
decision. In doing so, the ALJ engaged in the five-step
sequential evaluation process promulgated by the Commissioner
to determine whether an individual is disabled. (Id.
at 16-28). The ALJ made the following findings:
1. Plaintiff meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2015, but not
thereafter. (Id. at 18).
2. Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since February 9, 2013, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. Plaintiff has the following severe impairments:
osteoarthritis of the right and left knee, cervical disc
disease, and obesity (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
(Id. at 19).
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 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526,
416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926). (Id. at 22).
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
the claimant can occasionally lift and carry twenty pounds
and frequently ten pounds. She can stand and/or walk for six
hours in an eight-hour workday, and sit for six hours in an
eight-hour workday. The claimant can occasionally balance,
stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and climb ramps and stairs. She
cannot work on or around ladders, ropes, or scaffolds,
dangerous machinery, and unprotected heights. (Id.
6. The claimant is unable to perform her past relevant work
as a housekeeper due to her RFC. (Id. at 27).
7. The claimant was born on March 28, 1967 and was 45 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416.964).
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in this case
because the claimant's past relevant work is unskilled
(20 CFR 404.1568 and 416.968). (Id.).
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and RFC, there are jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform
(20 CFR 404.1569, ...