JAYA A. SHURTLIFF, ESQ., KENNETH R. HILLER, ESQ., Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC, Amherst, NY, for the Plaintiff.
SANDRA M. GROSSFELD, 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.
Plaintiff Barbara Lynne Woodmancy 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). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) After reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering Woodmancy's arguments, the court affirms the Commissioner's decision and dismisses the complaint.
On June 15, 2009, Woodmancy filed an application for SSI under the Social Security Act ("the Act"), alleging disability since April 4, 2001. (Tr. at 45, 97-100.) After her application was denied, ( id. at 52-56), Woodmancy requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on October 28, 2010, ( id. at 21-43, 58-60). On January 27, 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. ( Id. at 1-5, 8-20.)
Woodmancy commenced the present action by filing her complaint on June 19, 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. (Dkt. Nos. 8, 9.) Each party, seeking judgment on the pleadings, filed a brief. (Dkt. Nos. 11, 12.)
Woodmancy contends that the Commissioner's decision is tainted by legal error and is not supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 11 at 9-23.) Specifically, Woodmancy argues that the ALJ: (1) improperly determined the severity of her impairments; (2) erred in determining her residual functional capacity (RFC); (3) incorrectly evaluated her credibility; and (4) failed to obtain the testimony of a vocational expert (VE). ( Id. ) The Commissioner counters that the appropriate legal standards were used by the ALJ and her decision is also supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 12 at 2-17.)
The court adopts the parties' undisputed factual recitations. (Dkt. No. 11 at 3-8; Dkt. No. 12 at 1-2.)
V. Standard of Review
The standard for reviewing the Commissioner's final decision under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) 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. ...