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Jackson v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

January 17, 2019

DAVID RAY JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          LILES C. BURKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On February 12, 2017, plaintiff David Ray Jackson 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 March 8, 2018, plaintiff filed a memorandum (Doc. 10). On April 6, 2018, the Commissioner filed a memorandum (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 December 19, 2013, plaintiff 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. (Tr. 19). In both applications, plaintiff alleged disability beginning on February 1, 2013. (Id.). On October 21, 2015, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”), Walter V. Lassiter, Jr., conducted a video hearing from Franklin, Tennessee. (Id. at 75). Plaintiff, his attorney, and a vocational expert (“VE”) were present at the hearing. (Id.). On February 25, 2016, 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 19-28). The ALJ made the following findings:

1. Plaintiff meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2015. (Id. at 21).
2. Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since February 1, 2013, the alleged onset date. (Id.).
3. Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, and status-port arthroscopy of the left knee with a partial medial meniscectomy. (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 22).
5. Plaintiff has the residual functioning capacity (“RFC”) to perform medium work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except that he can stand and/or walk at least two hours without interruption and a total of at least six hours over the course of an eight-hour workday; can sit at least six hours over the course of an eight-hour work day; cannot climb ropes, poles, or scaffolds; can occasionally climb ladders, ramps, and stairs; can frequently balance, stoop, kneel, and crouch and occasionally crawl; can frequently work in humidity, wetness, and extreme temperatures; can frequently work in dusts, gases, odors, and fumes; cannot work in poorly ventilated areas; cannot work at unprotected heights; can frequently work with operating hazardous machinery and is not limited with operating motorized vehicles. (Id. at 23-24).
6. Plaintiff is capable of performing past relevant work as an outside sales representative and a small business owner. This work does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by plaintiff's RFC. (Id. at 27).
7. Plaintiff has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from February 1, 2013, through the date of his decision on February 25, 2016. (Id. at 28).

         Plaintiff requested an appeal to the Appeals Council, which denied his request for review on August 30, 2017. (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 October 9, 2017. (Doc. 1).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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