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McCann v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, N.D. New York

August 21, 2014

BARBARA HALEN McCANN, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

KIMBERLY A. SLIMBAUGH, ESQ., Meggesto, Crossett Law Firm, Syracuse, NY, for the Plaintiff.

RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN, United States Attorney, LAUREN E. MYERS Special Assistant U.S. 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 Barbara Halen McCann challenges the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB), seeking judicial review under 42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) After reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering McCann's arguments, the court affirms the Commissioner's decision and dismisses the complaint.

II. Background

On April 7, 2010, McCann filed an applications for DIB under the Social Security Act ("the Act"), alleging disability since October 7, 2009. (Tr.[1] at 91, 207-12.) After her application was denied, ( id. at 98-102), McCann requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on October 3, 2011, ( id. at 25-89, 105-06). On October 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. ( Id. at 1-4, 7-24.)

McCann commenced the present action by filing her complaint on July 18, 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. 10, 11.) Each party, seeking judgment on the pleadings, filed a brief. (Dkt. Nos. 15, 17.)

III. Contentions

McCann contends that the Commissioner's decision is tainted by legal error and is not supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 15 at 9-17.) Specifically, McCann claims that the ALJ failed to: (1) render a residual functional capacity (RFC) determination that is supported by substantial evidence; (2) follow the treating physician rule; (3) properly evaluate the opinion of her treating nurse practitioner; and (4) consider the effects of her obesity. ( 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. 17 at 5-13.)

IV. Facts

The court adopts the parties' undisputed factual recitations. (Dkt. No. 15 at ...


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