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Perry v. Colvin

United States District Court, Second Circuit

July 26, 2013

VALDA JEAN PERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

KAREN S. SOUTHWICK, ESQ., BRANDON W. SAWYER, ESQ., Olinsky Law Group, Syracuse, NY, for the Plaintiff.

SERGEI ADEN, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, HON. RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN, United States Attorney, Syracuse, NY, Steven P. Conte, Regional Chief Counsel, Social Security Administration, Office of General Counsel, Region II, New York, NY, for the Defendant.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

GARY L. SHARPE, Chief District Judge.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Valda Jean Perry challenges the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), seeking judicial review under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). ( See Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) After reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering Perry's arguments, the court affirms the Commissioner's decision and dismisses the Complaint.

II. Background

On November 5, 2009, Perry filed an application for SSI under the Social Security Act ("the Act"), alleging disability since January 1, 2008. ( See Tr.[1] at 50, 150-53.) After her application was denied, ( see id. at 67-72), Perry requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on June 14, 2011, ( see id. at 23-48, 76-78). On June 21, 2011, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision denying the requested benefits, which became the Commissioner's final determination upon the Social Security Administration Appeals Council's denial of review. ( See id. at 1-6, 51-66.)

Perry commenced the present action by filing her Complaint on July 31, 2012 wherein she sought review of the Commissioner's determination. ( See generally Compl.) The Commissioner filed an answer and a certified copy of the administrative transcript. ( See Dkt. Nos. 8, 9.) Each party, seeking judgment on the pleadings, filed a brief. ( See Dkt. Nos. 12, 13.)

III. Contentions

Perry contends that the Commissioner's decision is tainted by legal error and is not supported by substantial evidence. ( See Dkt. No. 12 at 9-23.) Specifically, Perry claims that the: (1) ALJ erred in failing to find that she met listing 12.04; (2) residual functional capacity (RFC) determination is unsupported by substantial evidence; (3) credibility assessment is unsupported by substantial evidence; and (4) step five determination is unsupported by substantial evidence. ( See id. ) The Commissioner counters that the appropriate legal standards were used by the ALJ and his decision is also supported by substantial evidence. ( See Dkt. No. 13 at 5-18.)

IV. Facts

The court adopts the parties' undisputed factual recitations. ( See Dkt. No. 12 at 2-7; Dkt. No. 13 at 1.)

V. Standard of Review

The standard for reviewing the Commissioner's final decision under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)[2] is well established and will not be repeated here. For a full discussion of the standard and the five-step process by which the Commissioner evaluates whether a claimant is disabled under the Act, the court refers the parties to its previous decision in Christiana v. ...


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