United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
BETSY M. BOONE, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
BRADLEY MURRAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
brings this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3),
seeking judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security denying her claim for
supplemental security income benefits. The parties have
consented to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Magistrate
Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), for all
proceedings in this Court. (Docs. 18 & 19 (“In
accordance with provisions of 28 U.S.C. §636(c) and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 73, the parties in this case consent to have a
United States magistrate judge conduct any and all
proceedings in this case, . . . order the entry of a final
judgment, and conduct all post-judgment
proceedings.”)). Upon consideration of the
administrative record, Plaintiff's brief, and the
Commissioner's brief,  it is determined that the
Commissioner's decision denying benefits should be
filed an application for supplemental security income
benefits on July 31, 2015, alleging disability beginning on
February 1, 2004. (See Tr. 136-44.) Her claim was
initially denied on September 18, 2015 (see Tr. 66
& 73-77) and, following Plaintiff's written request
for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) (see Tr. 80-82), a hearing was
conducted before an ALJ on June 29, 2017 (Tr. 28-52). During
the course of the hearing, Plaintiff amended her disability
onset date to July 6, 2015. (Tr. 39.) On October 12, 2017,
the ALJ issued a decision finding that the claimant was not
disabled and, therefore, not entitled to supplemental
security income benefits. (Tr. 15-23.) More specifically, the
ALJ determined that Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity to perform heavy work with a few minor
nonexertional limitations and, therefore, Boone could perform
her past relevant light work as a housekeeper and,
alternatively, has the residual functional capacity to
perform those unskilled heavy and medium jobs identified by
the vocational expert (“VE”) during the
administrative hearing (compare Tr. 21-22
with Tr. 48-51). On November 17, 2017, the Plaintiff
filed a written request for review of the ALJ's
unfavorable decision (Tr. 135) and, on July 19, 2018, the
Appeals Council denied Boone's request for review (Tr.
1-3). Thus, the hearing decision became the final decision of
the Commissioner of Social Security.
alleges disability due to GERD, chronic abdominal pain,
peptic ulcer disease, and depression. The ALJ made the
following relevant findings:
1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since July 6, 2015, the application date (20
CFR 416.971 et seq.).
The claimant testified that she babysat, but the record does
not indicate that this work rose to the level of substantial
gainful activity (Hearing Testimony).
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
gastroesophageal reflux disease (“GERD”); and
chronic abdominal pain status post H. pylori and peptic ulcer
disease (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
. . .
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the
severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404,
Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and
. . .
4. After careful consideration of the entire record,
the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform heavy work as defined in 20
CFR 416.967(d) except the claimant is limited to simple,
routine tasks with no only occasional changes in the work
. . .
5. The claimant is capable of performing past
relevant work as a cleaner, housekeeping. This work does not
require the performance of work-related activities precluded
by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR
. . .
Although the claimant is capable of performing past relevant
work, there are other jobs existing in the national economy
that she is also able to perform. Therefore, the
Administrative Law Judge makes the following alternative