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Roe v. Colvin

United States District Court, N.D. New York

February 19, 2015

MINDY S. ROE, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

IRWIN M. PORTNOY, ESQ., Irwin M. Portnoy & Associates, PC, New Windsor, NY, for the Plaintiff.

JEREMY A. LINDEN, 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 Mindy Roe 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 Roe's arguments, the court affirms the Commissioner's decision and dismisses the complaint.

II. Background

On September 10, 2010, Roe filed an application for DIB under the Social Security Act ("the Act"), alleging disability since September 2, 2009. (Tr.[1] at 48, 98-101.)[2] After her application was denied, ( id. at 49-60), Roe requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which was held on March 15, 2012, ( id. at 27-47, 61). On March 20, 2012, 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 1-6, 11-26.)

Roe commenced the present action by filing her complaint on August 29, 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, 17.)

III. Contentions

Roe contends that the Commissioner's decision is tainted by legal error and is not supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 13 at 12-24.) Specifically, Roe claims that the ALJ improperly: (1) evaluated her complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), under Social Security Ruling (SSR) 03-2p;

(2) discounted her credibility; and, (3) appraised the testimony of the vocational expert (VE). ( Id. )[3] The Commissioner counters that the appropriate legal standards were used by the ALJ and his decision is also supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 17 at 3-14.)

IV. Facts

The court adopts the parties' undisputed factual recitations. (Dkt. No. 13 at ...


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