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Skiba v. Colvin

United States District Court, N.D. New York

April 20, 2015

PENNY SKIBA, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

FOR THE PLAINTIFF: NANCY J. MESEROW, ESQ. Office of Nancy J. Meserow Portland, OR.

PETER A. GORTON, ESQ. Lachman, Gorton Law Firm Endicott, NY.

FOR THE DEFENDANT: HON. RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN JEREMY A. LINDEN Special Assistant U.S. Attorney United States Attorney Syracuse, NY.

Steven P. Conte Regional Chief Counsel Social Security Administration Office of General Counsel, Region II 26 Federal Plaza, Room 3904 New York, NY.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

GARY L. SHARPE District Judge.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Penny Skiba challenges the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), seeking judicial review under 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) After reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering Skiba's arguments, the court affirms the Commissioner's decision and dismisses Skiba's complaint.

II. Background

On May 12 and May 14, 2011, Skiba filed applications for DIB and SSI under the Social Security Act ("the Act"), alleging disability since May 1 and May 2, 2011. (Tr.[1] at 63-69, 70, 140-46, 147-54.) After her applications were denied, ( id. at 71-76), Skiba requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), ( id. at 78-79). A hearing was held on October 1, 2012. ( Id. at 28-62.) On November 16, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision denying the requested benefits, ( id. at 14-26), which became the Commissioner's final determination upon the Appeals Council's denial of review, ( id. at 2-7).

Skiba commenced the present action by filing her complaint on November 1, 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. 9, 10.) Each party, seeking judgment on the pleadings, filed a brief. (Dkt. Nos. 14, 18.)

III. Contentions

Skiba contends that the Commissioner's decision is tainted by legal error and is not supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 14 at 9-25.) Specifically, Skiba argues that the ALJ erred in her determination of Skiba's residual functional capacity (RFC), and did not properly assess the medical opinions of record or Skiba's credibility, which tainted her ultimate conclusion that Skiba could return to her past relevant work. ( 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. 18 at 1-25.)

IV. Facts

The court adopts the parties' undisputed factual recitations. (Dkt. No. 14 at ...


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