United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MARY A. POCKLINGTON, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER 
M. BODENHAUSEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Mary A. Pocklington (“Plaintiff”) appeals the
decision of the Acting Commissioner of Social Security
(“Defendant”) denying her applications for
disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security
Act, see 42 U.S.C. §§ 401 et
seq., and supplemental security income under Title XVI,
see 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381 et seq.
Substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's
decision, and therefore it is affirmed. See 42
U.S.C. § 405(g).
Procedural History & Summary of Memorandum
8, 2013, Plaintiff filed applications for disability
benefits, arguing that her disability began on January 1,
2013, as a result of coronary artery disease, hypertrophic
cardiomyopathy, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (Tr. 183-96) The
alleged onset date was later amended to April 19, 2013. (Tr.
13, 229) On August15, 2013, Plaintiff's claims were
denied upon initial consideration. (Tr. 93-97) Plaintiff then
requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”). Plaintiff appeared at the hearing (with
counsel) on July 16, 2015, and testified concerning the
nature of her disability, her functional limitations, and her
past work. (Tr. 35-64) The ALJ also heard testimony on that
date from Denise Weaver, a vocational expert
(“VE”). The VE opined as to Plaintiff's
ability to secure other work in the national economy, based
upon Plaintiff's functional limitations, age, and
education. (Id.) After taking Plaintiff's
testimony, considering the VE's testimony, and reviewing
the rest of the evidence of record, the ALJ issued a decision
on July 29, 2015, finding that Plaintiff was not disabled,
and therefore denying benefits. (Tr. 9-26)
sought review of the ALJ's decision before the Appeals
Council of the Social Security Administration. (Tr. 1-5) On
July 21, 2016, the Appeals Council denied review of
Plaintiff's claims, making the July 2015 decision of the
ALJ the final decision of the Commissioner. Plaintiff has
therefore exhausted her administrative remedies, and her
appeal is properly before this Court. See 42 U.S.C.
brief to this Court, Plaintiff raises one issue, the ALJ
erred by failing to provide her medical records to Dr. Randy
Foster, one of the consultative examiners. Plaintiff further
argues that the ALJ's subsequent decision to accord Dr.
Foster's report only partial weight was the result of Dr.
Foster not having her medical records during the
consultation. The Commissioner filed a detailed brief in
opposition contending that the ALJ's decision is based on
explained below, the Court has considered the entire record
in this matter. Because the decision of the Commissioner is
supported by substantial evidence, it will be affirmed.
The Hearing Before the ALJ
conducted a hearing on July 16, 2015. Plaintiff was present
with an attorney and testified at the hearing. The VE also
testified at the hearing.
began her testimony by noting that she has been unable to
work since April 18, 2013, after having a surgical procedure
placing a stent in her heart. (Tr. 38) Plaintiff lives alone
in a house, and her daughter-in-law helps with the chores and
takes Plaintiff grocery shopping. (Tr. 55, 57, 59)
acknowledged that she returned to work part time but she had
to quit because her hours were cut and she could not perform
the job duties. (Tr. 39) Plaintiff worked at the front desk
of a hotel and sometimes missed work due to her depression.
(Tr. 52) Her job duties included mopping the front hall,
cleaning the breakfast bar, moving boxes of computer paper,
moving tables and chairs, and vacuuming. (Tr. 54) Plaintiff
testified that her back pain caused difficulty lifting,
bending, and stooping on the job.
testified that she experiences shortness of breath when she
walks. (Tr. 40) Plaintiff testified that she uses oxygen at
night, and she takes nitroglycerin to alleviate her chest
pain. (Tr. 40-41) In 2014, Dr. Habib performed another heart
procedure inserting additional stents. (Tr. 42) Dr. Gessling
prescribed medications for Plaintiff's diabetes.
Plaintiff testified that she also has narrowing of her spine,
and she had neck surgery earlier in 2015. (Tr. 33) Plaintiff
takes medicine to alleviate the muscle spasms in her neck.
(Tr. 46) Plaintiff testified that she experiences depression
and crying spells and constant back pain. (Tr. 49, 58)
testified that she can stand for ten to twenty minutes before
she has to sit down due to leg fatigue. (Tr. 47-48, 56)
Plaintiff cannot lift anything over ten pounds. (Tr. 48)
Plaintiff testified that she can sit for thirty minutes. (Tr.
testified that she watches television during the day. (Tr.
50) Plaintiff has a difficult time being around men. (Tr. 62)