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Bradley v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

June 25, 2018

ALESIA DIANE BRADLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [1]

          PHILIP R. LAMMENS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff appeals the administrative decision denying her application for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”). Upon a review of the record, the memoranda, and the applicable law, I recommend that the Commissioner's decision be AFFIRMED.

         I. Background

         For the sake of convenience, the administrative history, which is not in dispute, is copied from the Government's brief:

Plaintiff protectively filed an application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits (DIB) on April 12, 2014 (Tr. 20, 131). The application was denied initially and on reconsideration (Tr. 76, 82). An administrative law judge (ALJ) held a hearing on August 2, 2016, and issued a decision on August 31, 2016, finding Plaintiff was not disabled through the date of the decision (Tr. 17-28, 33-54). The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review (Tr. 1-6). This case is now ripe for review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

(Doc. 20, p. 1).

         At the time of the ALJ's decision, Plaintiff was 54 years of age. (Tr. 28, 131). Plaintiff completed two years of college, and has past work experience as a bookkeeper. (Tr. 51, 160-61).

         Based on a review of the record, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the severe impairments of a back disorder and obesity/weight gain. (Tr. 23). The ALJ found that Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform a reduced range of sedentary work. The ALJ found:

[Plaintiff] can occasionally climb ramps or stairs, never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, frequently balance, occasionally stoop, and frequently kneel, crouch and crawl. The claimant is further limited to frequent bilateral reaching, handling, and fingering, must avoid concentrated exposure to irritants such as fumes, odors, dust, gases, and poorly ventilated areas, and be able to stand in place for a minute every 15 minutes.

(Tr. 24).

         Based upon this RFC, and considering the testimony of the vocational expert, the ALJ found that Plaintiff is capable of performing past relevant work as a bookkeeper, both as generally described in the DOT and as actually performed by claimant. (Tr. 28). Accordingly, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff is not disabled. (Tr. 28).

         II. Standard of Review

         A claimant is entitled to disability benefits when he or she is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to either result in death or last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months. 42 U.S.C. §§416(i)(1), 423(d)(1)(A); 20 C.F.R. §404.1505(a).

         The Commissioner has established a five-step sequential analysis for evaluating a claim of disability, which is by now well-known and otherwise set forth in the ALJ's decision. See 20 CFR §§ 404.1520(a), 416.920(a); see also Doughty v. Apfel, 245 F.3d 1274, 1278 (11th Cir. 2001). The claimant, of course, bears the burden of persuasion through step four and, ...


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