United States District Court, D. Delaware
MARK W. LEWIS, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
Linarducci, LINARDUCCI & BUTLER, New Castle, DE
E. Osterhout, OSTERHOUT BERGER DISABILITY LAW, Oakmont, PA
Attorneys for Plaintiff
C. Weiss, United States Attorney, UNITED STATES
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Wilmington, DE
Heather Benderson, Special Assistant United States Attorney,
Eric P. Kressman, Regional Counsel, and Anne von Scheven,
Assistant Regional Counsel, OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL,
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Philadelphia, PA Attorneys
U.S DISTRICT JUDGE
Mark A. Lewis ("Lewis" or "Plaintiff) appeals
the decision of Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill, the Acting
Commissioner of Social Security ("the Commissioner"
or "Defendant"), denying his claim for Social
Security Disability Insurance benefits. (D.I. 1) The Court
has jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
the Court are the parties' cross-motions for summary
judgment. (D.I. 9, 10) Plaintiff Lewis seeks reversal of the
Commissioner's decision and remand to the Commissioner
for what he contends would be proper consideration of the
record. (D.I. 9-1 at 20) The Commissioner requests that the
Court affirm the decision denying Lewis' claim for
benefits. (D.I. 10)
reasons stated below, the Court will deny Lewis' motion
for summary judgment and grant the Commissioner's motion.
December 3, 2013, Lewis filed an application for disability
benefits, alleging disability beginning on November 15, 2012.
(D.I. 6 ("Tr.") at 179) Lewis later amended his
benefits period to close on January 15, 2015, following his
recovery. (Tr. 39) Lewis' claim was denied initially on
January 27, 2014, and upon reconsideration on August 6, 2014.
(Tr. 83-107) On September 11, 2014, Lewis requested a hearing
with an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). (Tr.
122-23) The hearing took place on September 27, 2016. (Tr.
the hearing, on November 23, 2016, the ALJ issued the
1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of
the Social Security Act on June 30, 2015.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from his alleged onset date of
November 15, 2012 through the end of the closed period on
January 15, 2015 (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the
following severe impairments: Bipolar Disorder, Depression
(20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have
an impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR
404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the
claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform a
full range of work at all exertional levels but with the
following non-exertional limitations: the claimant is limited
to simple, routine tasks in a work environment free of fast
paced production requirements involving simple work related
decisions with few, if any, work place changes; and
occasional interaction with the public and co-workers.
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to
perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on August 2, 1961 and was 53 years
old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching
advanced age, on the date last insured (20 CFR 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is "not disabled," whether or not
the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41 and
20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. Through the dated last insured, considering the
claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual
functional capacity, there were jobs that existed in
significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant