United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
DIANE ST. CYRE, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL,  Commissioner of Social Security. Defendant.
D. NOCE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action is before the Court for judicial review of the final
decision of the defendant Commissioner of Social Security
denying the applications of plaintiff Diane St. Cyre for
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and
supplemental security income (“SSI”) under Titles
II and XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401,
et seq; § 1601, et seq. The parties
have consented to the exercise of plenary authority by the
undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c). For the reasons set forth below, the
decision of the Commissioner is affirmed.
Diane St. Cyre, who was born on June 1, 1969, filed her DIB
and SSI applications on November 14, 2014. (Tr. 2616,
2633-35). She alleged a disability onset date of February 1,
2014, due to aortic dissection, arthritis and knee pain,
lymphedema, depression, congestive heart failure, two bulging
discs, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood
pressure, gallstones, and difficulty sitting and walking.
(Tr. 2616-17). Her application was denied by a disability
examiner on April 1, 2015, (Tr. 2629-31), but plaintiff
appealed the decision and requested a hearing by an
administrative law judge. (Tr. 2646).
January 18, 2017, plaintiff appeared before an ALJ. (Tr.
2560-2600). A vocational expert also testified at the
hearing. (Id.). On April 28, 2017, the ALJ denied
plaintiff's applications. (Tr. 2541-54). On February 20,
2018, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for
review (Tr. 1-7), and the ALJ's decision became the final
decision of the Commissioner now before this Court for
review. 20 C.F.R. § 404.984(b)(2).
Court adopts the parties' several statements of
uncontroverted material facts (Docs. 21, 26). These facts,
taken together, present a fair and accurate summary of the
medical record and testimony at the evidentiary hearing. The
Court discusses specific facts as they are relevant to the
DECISION OF THE ALJ
One, the ALJ found that plaintiff met the insured status
requirements and had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity during the period from her alleged disability onset
date of February 1, 2014, through her date she was last
insured on December 31, 2018. (Tr. 2543). At Step Two, the
ALJ found that plaintiff had the severe impairments of left
knee osteoarthritis, chondromalacia of the patella, patellar
misalignment syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
chronic aortic dissection, obesity, and major depression.
(Tr. 2543-44). At Step Three, the ALJ found that plaintiff
had no impairments or combination of impairments that met or
were the medical equivalent of an impairment on the
Commissioner's list of presumptively disabling
impairments. (Tr. 2544-46); see also 20 C.F.R.
§ Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1.
then found that plaintiff:
has the residual functional capacity [(“RFC”)] to
lift up to 10 pounds occasionally and lift/carry up to 10
pounds frequently. She can stand/walk for about two hours and
sit for up to six hours in an eight-hour workday, with normal
breaks. She can never climb ramps, stairs, ladders, ropes or
scaffolds. She can occasionally balance with a hand held
assistive device as in a cane. She can occasionally stoop and
crouch, but never kneel and crawl. She should avoid exposure
to extreme cold and extreme heat. She should avoid exposure
to irritants such as fumes, odors, dust, gases and poorly
ventilated areas. She should avoid exposure to chemicals. She
should avoid unprotected heights and exposure to hazardous
machinery. Her work is limited to simple, routine and
repetitive tasks. She should have only occasional interaction
in person with the public, co-workers and supervisors.
Four, the ALJ found that plaintiff was unable to perform her
past relevant work as a cafeteria worker, food service
worker, or cook helper. (Tr. 2552). At Step Five, the ALJ
found that plaintiff was capable of performing jobs existing
in significant numbers in the national economy, such as
document preparer, addresser, and order clerk. (Tr. 2552-53).