United States District Court, N.D. New York
PETER W. ANTONOWICZ, ESQ., Office of Peter W. Antonowicz, Rome, NY, for the Plaintiff.
SIXTINA FERNANDEZ, 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 Brianne Parker challenges the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), seeking judicial review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) After reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering Parker's arguments, the court affirms the Commissioner's decision and dismisses the complaint.
On May 22, 2008, Parker filed an application for SSI under the Social Security Act ("the Act"), alleging disability since April 30, 2008. (Tr. at 88, 162-67.) After her application was denied, ( id. at 89-92), Parker requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on October 8, 2010, ( id. at 35-64, 95). On June 28, 2011, a supplemental hearing was held to take the testimony of medical expert Donald Goldman. ( Id. at 65-85.) On August 19, 2011, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision denying the requested benefits, which became the Commissioner's final determination upon the Appeals Council's denial of review. ( Id. at 1-4, 18-34.)
Parker commenced the present action by filing her complaint on January 2, 2013 wherein she sought review of the Commissioner's determination. (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. 13, 14.)
Parker contends that the Commissioner's decision is tainted by legal error and is not supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 13, Attach. 1 at 11-17.) Specifically, Parker claims that the ALJ's errors in weighing the medical opinions of record resulted in a residual functional capacity (RFC) determination that is unsupported by substantial evidence. ( Id. ) The Commissioner counters that the appropriate legal standards were used by the ALJ and his decision is also supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 14 at 6-11.)
The court adopts the parties' undisputed factual recitations. (Dkt. No. 13, Attach. 1 ...