United States District Court, D. Delaware
PORTIA C. HALL, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
appeals the decision of Defendant, Nancy A. Berryhill, the
Acting Commissioner (the "Commissioner") of the
Social Security Administration, which denied Plaintiffs
application for Social Security disability insurance benefits
("DIB") or Supplemental Security Income
("SSI") under Titles II and XVI, respectively, of
the Social Security Act. 42 U.S.C. §§401-34,
1381-1383f. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), which grants original jurisdiction to the
District Courts to review a final decision of the
pending before the Court are cross-motions for summary
judgment filed by Plaintiff and the Commissioner. (D.I. 13,
motions were referred to the United States Magistrate Judge
(D.I. 18), who issued a Report and Recommendation
recommending that Plaintiffs motion be denied, and the
Commissioner's motion be granted. (D.I. 19). Plaintiff
filed objections (D.I. 20) to which the Commissioner has
responded. (D.I. 21). I review the objections to the Report
and Recommendation de novo. See Brown v. Astrue, 649
F.3d 193, 195 (3d Cir. 2011).
has requested that the Court reverse the decision of the
Commissioner and find her disabled, or in the alternative,
remand this matter for further administrative proceedings.
(D.I. 20 at 3). The challenge here is a narrow one. It
concerns whether the ALJ misapplied agency guidelines. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Plaintiffs
filed an application for DIB and SSI on October 22, 2009.
(D.I. 8-2 at 56). Her claims were denied initially on
February 9, 2010, and denied again on reconsideration on July
1, 2010. (D.I. 8-3 at 103). Plaintiff then requested a
hearing before the Administrative Law Judge
("ALJ"), which occurred on July 20, 2011.
(Id. at 99-115). The ALJ denied Plaintiffs claim.
(Id.). Plaintiff requested review of the ALJ's
decision by the Appeals Council, which resulted in the remand
of Plaintiff s case back to the ALJ. (D.I. 8-3 at 116-121).
held the second hearing on January 30, 2014. (D.I. 8-2 at
27-52). Upon a second unfavorable decision, Plaintiff
requested that the Appeals Council review the ALJ's
decision, but her request was denied. (Id. at 4-8).
Plaintiff now seeks judicial review of the ALJ's
Plaintiffs Medical History
time of the ALJ's decision, Plaintiff was fifty-three
years old. (D.I. 8-2 at 11). She has a high school education
and past relevant work experience as a cafeteria worker,
retail cashier, factory worker, and newspaper inserter.
record and the Report and Recommendation each contain
Plaintiffs detailed medical history. (D.I. 19 at 2-14).
Because it is not directly relevant to Plaintiffs objections,
it need not be included in this order.
April 16, 2014, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision. (D.I.
8-2 at 9). In the decision, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff
had the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR §§
404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) "except standing and/or
walking for 2 hours out of an 8-hour workday; no more than
occasional postural activities such as stopping, crouching,
and crawling, except no climbing of ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds." The ALJ cautioned Plaintiff to "avoid
concentrated exposure to odors, fumes, dusts, gases, poor
ventilation, vibration, and hazards, such as heights and
moving machinery;" and found that "handling,
fingering, [and] feeling [should be] limited to frequent as
opposed to constant." (Id. at 15).
the ALJ concluded that there were jobs existing in
significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant
could perform, and that Plaintiff was not disabled within ...