United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
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 Cassandra Broomfield
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.
Cassandra Broomfield was born on May 28, 1973, and filed her
DIB application on December 23, 2014, (Tr.
224-34) and her SSI application on January 27,
2015. (Tr. 235-39). She alleged a disability onset date of
January 20, 2014, due to mood disorder/depression,
lower-extremity neuropathy, fibromyositis, insomnia,
hypermobile joints, plantar fasciitis, multiple joint pain,
psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
(Tr. 264). Her application was denied by a disability
examiner on March 11, 2015, (Tr. 148), but plaintiff appealed
the decision and requested a hearing by an administrative law
judge. (Tr. 155).
December 6, 2016, plaintiff appeared before an ALJ. (Tr.
78-117). A vocational expert also testified at the hearing.
(Id.). On September 14, 2017, the ALJ denied
plaintiff's applications. (Tr. 18-45). On May 30, 2018,
the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review
(Tr. 7-12), 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. 20, 27). 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 January 20, 2014, through her date last insured,
December 31, 2019. (Tr. 23-24). At Step Two, the ALJ found
that plaintiff had the severe impairments of mild
polyneuropathy, mild lumbar osteoarthritis, mild obesity,
eczema/rosacea, and plantar fasciitis. (Tr. 24-26). 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. 26-27); see
also 20 C.F.R. § Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1.
then found that plaintiff has the residual functional
capacity (“RFC”) to:
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except she is able to stand and/or walk for two
hours at a time for a total of six hours in an eight-hour
workday; sit for three hours at a time up to eight hours in a
workday; lift/carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds
frequently; frequently reach in all directions, handle,
finger, feel, push, pull and operate foot controls
bilaterally; occasionally climb ramps and stairs but never
climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds; frequently balance, stoop,
kneel and crouch; occasionally crawl; avoid all exposure to
unprotected heights; limited to occasional exposure to moving
mechanical parts, humidity, wetness, extreme cold and
vibration; and frequently operate a motor vehicle.
Four, the ALJ found that plaintiff was able to perform her
past relevant work as a retail sales clerk. (Tr. 37). The ALJ
also made an alternative Step Five finding that plaintiff was
capable of performing other jobs existing in significant
numbers in the national economy, such as cafeteria attendant,
electrical accessories assembler I, and cashier II. (Tr. 38).