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Denson v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

September 11, 2017

TYRONE DENSON, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1] Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ABBIE CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Tyrone Denson brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security Administration Commissioner's denial of his applications for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act.

         An Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that, despite Denson's severe impairments, he was not disabled as he had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy.

         This matter is pending before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge, with consent of the parties, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). A summary of the entire record is presented in the parties' briefs and is repeated here only to the extent necessary.

         For the following reasons, the decision of the Commissioner will be affirmed.

         I. Procedural History

         Denson protectively filed his applications for DIB and SSI on August 15, 2013. (Tr. 10, 175-87.) He alleged that he became disabled on October 15, 2011, due to learning problems and hyperactivity. (Tr. 207.) Denson's claims were denied initially. (Tr. 91-94.) Following an administrative hearing, Denson's claims were denied in a written opinion by an ALJ, dated February 23, 2015. (Tr. 7-20.) Denson then filed a request for review of the ALJ's decision with the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration (SSA), which was denied on April 12, 2016. (Tr. 1-5.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as the final decision of the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. '' 404.981, 416.1481.

         In the instant action, Denson argues that the ALJ erred by failing to properly consider whether Denson's intellectual deficits met or medically equaled Listing 12.05C.

         II. The ALJ's Determination

         The ALJ stated that Denson met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through September 30, 2016. (Tr. 12.) The ALJ found that Denson had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since his alleged onset date of October 15, 2011. Id.

         In addition, the ALJ concluded that Denson had the following severe impairments: lumbago, obesity, and borderline intellectual functioning. Id. The ALJ found that Denson did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meet or equal in severity the requirements of any impairment listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. Id. In making this determination, the ALJ considered Denson's mental impairment under the requirements of Listing 12.05, but found that the requirements were not met. (Tr. 13.)

         As to Denson's RFC, the ALJ stated:

After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) and 416.967(c) except he cannot lift and carry more than 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently, and sit, stand and walk more than 6 out of 8 hours total in an 8 hour workday. The claimant can perform simple routine 1-2 step tasks and instructions with only occasional decisionmaking.

(Tr. 14.)

         The ALJ found that Denson's allegations regarding his limitations were not entirely credible. (Tr. 15.)

         The ALJ further found that Denson was capable of performing past relevant work as a poultry hanger and hand packer. (Tr. 18.) The ALJ found in the alternative, based on the testimony of a vocational expert, that Denson could perform other jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy, such as dishwasher and cleaner. (Tr. 18-19.) The ALJ therefore concluded that Denson has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from October 15, 2011, through the date of the decision. (Tr. 19.)

         The ALJ's final decision reads as follows:

Based on the application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits protectively filed on August 15, 2013, the claimant is not disabled as defined in sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Social Security Act.
Based on the application for supplemental security income protectively field on August 15, 2013, the claimant is not disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A).

Id.

         III. Applicable Law

         III.A. ...


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