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Campbell v. Berryhill

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

November 7, 2019

MECHELLE CAMPBELL, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          LILES C. BURKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On June 7, 2018, the Plaintiff Mechelle Campbell 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). The Commissioner filed an answer to the complaint on November 1, 2018. (Doc. 11). The Plaintiff filed a brief in support of her position on January 16, 2019, (Doc. 15) and the Commissioner filed a brief in support of the decision on February 7, 2019. (Doc. 16). Therefore, this issue is ripe for review. For the reasons stated below, the final decision of the Commissioner is affirmed.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Plaintiff protectively filed for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits on January 20, 2015. (R. 22). She alleged that her disability began on April 25, 2010. Id. Her claim for benefits was denied on August 12, 2015, and the Plaintiff subsequently filed a request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on June 23, 2015. Id. The Plaintiff appeared before ALJ Patrick Digby on April 5, 2017. Id. The Plaintiff testified at the hearing and was questioned by her attorney and the ALJ. (R. 41, 46). Additionally, vocational expert Dothel Edwards testified at the hearing. (R. 48). The ALJ issued his opinion on July 17, 2017. (R. 32). When he issued his opinion, the ALJ used the five-step evaluation process promulgated by the Social Security Administration to determine whether an individual is disabled. (R. 23). The ALJ made the following determinations:

1. The Plaintiff meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2015. (R. 24).
2. The Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 25, 2010, the alleged onset date of the disability. Id.
3. The Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: an anxiety disorder and a personality disorder. Id.
4. The 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 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (R. 25).
5. The Plaintiff has the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels and has no lifting restrictions. The Plaintiff can: perform simple tasks; concentrate for two-hour periods across an eight-hour workday, five-day work week with all customary breaks; have occasional contact with the public, coworkers, and supervisors. The Plaintiff cannot: work on ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; work at unprotected heights; work around dangerous machinery. Any changes in the work environment should be infrequent and well explained. (R. 27).
6. The Plaintiff is unable to perform any past relevant work. (R. 31).
7. The Plaintiff was 43 years old at the alleged onset date, which is defined as a younger individual aged 18-49. Id.
8. The Plaintiff has limited education and can communicate in English. Id.
9. A determination of transferability of job skills is not material to the determination of disability as the Medical-Vocational Rules support a finding that the Plaintiff is not disabled. Id.
10. With the Plaintiff's age, education, work experience, and RFC, there are a significant number of jobs in the ...

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