United States District Court, N.D. New York
Decided December 19, 2014
For Danielle Crosse, Plaintiff: Mark M. McDonald, LEAD ATTORNEY, Bond, McDonald Law Firm, Geneva, NY.
For Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant: Lauren E. Myers, Michelle L. Christ, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Social Security Administration, Office of Regional General Counsel, Region II, New York, NY.
DECISION and ORDER
WILLIAM G. YOUNG, United States District Judge.
Plaintiff Danielle Crosse (" Crosse" ) brings this action against Carolyn W. Colvin, the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the " Commissioner" or the " Agency" ), seeking the reversal of the Commissioner's determination that Crosse is not entitled to disability insurance benefits pursuant to Title II of the Social Security Act (the " Act" ). Am. Compl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 4.
A. Procedural History
On April 7, 2010, Crosse filed a Title II application for disability insurance benefits, alleging disability beginning July 31, 2005 with a last date insured of December 30, 2011. Administrative R. (" Admin. R." ) 29, 598, ECF No. 8. The Agency denied Crosse's applications on August 24, 2010, and Crosse subsequently filed a written request for a hearing. Id. That hearing, which Crosse attended, was held on March 14, 2012. Following the hearing, the Administrative Law (" hearing officer" ) denied her application on May 25, 2012. Id. at 39. Crosse appealed to the Agency's Appeals Council, which denied her claim on August 6, 2012. Admin. R. 11. Crosse filed her original complaint with the district court on September 28, 2012. Compl., ECF No. 1. After receiving and reviewing new evidence that post-dated the hearing officer's decision, the Appeals Council reconsidered its August 2012 decision but again denied Crosse's claim on October 9, 2012. Admin. R. 6. Crosse filed an amended complaint with the district court on October 16, 2012.
Am. Compl., ECF No. 4. After the Commissioner produced the administrative record, Crosse filed her brief on April 19, 2013. Pl.'s Br. Pursuant Gen. Order No. 18 (" Pl.'s Br." ), ECF No. 15. The Commissioner opposed on May 31, 2013. Def.'s Br. Pursuant Gen. Order No. 18 (" Def.'s Br." ), ECF No. 16.
B. Factual History
The bulk of the factual background at issue in this case is not relevant to this opinion. For the sake of concision, and in order to protect the privacy of the parties as much as possible, this Court summarizes only those facts necessary to understand the legal issues involved.
Crosse, who was 44 years old at the date of the 2012 hearing, attended school through eleventh grade, though she did not finish high school. Admin. R. 599, 600. She subsequently obtained certification as a licensed practical nurse and later graduated from massage school. Admin. R. 332, 600. She worked as a horse groomer in 2004 and a licensed practical nurse up until 2005. She then attended massage school, and following her graduation in 2007, she owned her own massage business for a short time. She subsequently worked as a bookkeeper for her son's construction business in 2008. Pl.'s Br. 8.
Crosse lives with her husband. Pl.'s Br. 8. She has two grown children, neither of whom live with her. Admin. R. 599. At the hearing, Crosse reported suffering from severe depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ...