United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
DETONY L. TIMMS, Widower of Leslie S. Timms, 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 Leslie S. Timms for
disability insurance benefits and supplemental security
income benefits under Titles II and XVI of the Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 401-434, 1381-1385. 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 final decision
of the Commissioner is affirmed.
Leslie S. Timms, now deceased, filed her applications,
alleging a July 17, 2012 onset date. She was born on August
19, 1983, and was 28 years old at the time of her onset date.
(Tr. 240.) She alleged disability due to depression,
degenerative disc disease, pinched nerve, rheumatoid
arthritis, COPD, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, restless leg
syndrome, spasm, and migraines. (Tr. 148-49.) Her
applications were denied, and she requested a hearing before
an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). (Tr. 148-53, 156-57.)
September 28, 2017, following a hearing, an ALJ issued a
decision finding that plaintiff was not disabled under the
Act. (Tr. 15-25.) The Appeals Council denied her request for
review. (Tr. 1-3.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as
the final decision of the Commissioner.
October 28, 2018 plaintiff Leslie S. Timms died from a
pulmonary embolism. Her spouse, Detony L. Timms, was
substituted as a party to this action. (ECF Docs.
20-21.) However, for clarity in this opinion,
“plaintiff” hereafter refers to decedent Leslie
following is a summary of plaintiff Leslie S. Timms's
medical and other history relevant to his appeal.
2016, plaintiff was seen in the emergency room or emergency
department seven dates. (Tr. 693-96, 1007, 1029, 1059.)
underwent a spinal fusion and was hospitalized March 22-26,
2016. (Tr. 650, 683.) On May 6, 2016, she was seen at Barnes
Jewish Hospital (Barnes) for follow-up on her spinal fusion
surgery. (Tr. 1268.) She also underwent x-rays at that time.
November 2016, plaintiff underwent surgery for removal of a
kidney stone and was hospitalized for one day. (Tr. 1084-85.)
2016, plaintiff saw doctors on approximately 36 separate
dates, sometimes with more than one appointment on these
dates. Her medical care in 2016 consisted primarily of eye
examinations, doctors' and mental-health appointments,
lab work, and imaging tests. (Tr. 606, 612-13, 634, 636, 638,
640, 642, 662, 664, 667, 669, 697, 710, 717, 719, 723, 726,
730, 732, 992-93, 1000-01, 1023, 1057, 1076, 1079, 1100,
1114-15, 1129, 1131-32, 1134-35, 1136-40, 1141-43, 1144,
1148-51, 1241-43, 1247-48, 1249-50, 1258, 1260, 1262,
1267-68, 1273-74, 1275-77, 1279, 1281-83, 1284-89, 1290,
April 20, 2017, plaintiff appeared and testified to the
following at a hearing before an ALJ. (Tr. 37-71.) She was 33
years old. She has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis,
bipolar disorder, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and small
nerve neuropathy. She lives with her sister and three
children, ages 10 through 13. (Tr. 40-43.) She sees several
doctors, including a neurologist, rheumatologist,
psychiatrist, orthopedist, primary care physician, and pain
management doctor. (59-62.)
vocational expert (VE) also testified at the hearing. The VE
testified that plaintiff had past work as a waitress,
bartender, kitchen helper, fast food worker, cook, and
telephone customer service representative. The VE believed
that plaintiff would be unable to return to her past work.
The ALJ asked the VE whether a hypothetical claimant with the
same residual functional capacity (RFC) and vocational
factors as plaintiff could perform jobs other than
plaintiff's last work. The VE testified that the
hypothetical claimant could perform the representative jobs
of document preparer, ...