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Connell v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, N.D. New York

January 18, 2017

ERIN S. CONNELL f/k/a ERIN WROBLEWSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ERIN S. CONNELL Plaintiff pro se

          SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF REGIONAL GENERAL COUNSEL - REGION II Attorneys for Defendant

          KRISTINA D. COHN, ESQ. OF COUNSEL

          MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

          FREDERICK J. SCULLIN, SENIOR JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Erin S. Connell f/k/a Erin Wroblewski, proceeding pro se, brought this action pursuant to the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (“Act”), seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (the “Commissioner”), denying her application for benefits. See generally Dkt. Nos. 1, 16. Pending before the Court are the parties' cross- motions for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Dkt. Nos. 16, 19.

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff applied for benefits on January 30, 2012, alleging disability as of March 15, 2011. See Administrative Record (“AR”) at 70. The Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff's applications on May 25, 2012. See Id. at 77. Plaintiff filed a timely request for a hearing on June 25, 2012. See id. at 85. A video hearing was held on February 20, 2014, before Administrative Law Judge Joseph L. Brinkley (“ALJ”). See id. at 13. Attorney Timothy J. McMahon represented Plaintiff at the hearing. See id.

         On July 18, 2014, the ALJ issued a written decision in which he made the following findings “[a]fter careful consideration of the entire record . . . .”

1) Plaintiff has not “engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 15, 2011, the alleged onset date.”
2) Plaintiff “has the following severe impairments: osteoporosis; fibromyalgia variant/diffuse pain syndrome; thoracic strain; cervical radiculopathy; degenerative disc disease; palpitations with history of tachycardia; major depressive disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); borderline personality disorder; and panic disorder with agoraphobia.”
3) Plaintiff “does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.”
4) Plaintiff “has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 20 CFR 416.967(b) except that the claimant: can frequently use the bilateral upper extremities to handle, grasp, finger and feel; can occasionally lift/reach overhead or push/pull with the bilateral upper extremities; can occasionally climb ramps/stairs, balance, kneel, stoop, crawl, and crouch; should never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; should avoid concentrated exposure to environmental irritants and humidity, wetness, vibrations, extreme heat or cold temperatures, and workplace hazards; should be limited to simple, routine, repetitive tasks; should have no physical contact with public or coworkers and can occasionally engage in nonphysical contact with these individuals; and should not engage in team work; can understand & carry out very simple written/oral work related instructions; can exercise simple judgment in the work place; can complete a simple work schedule; and should be limited to low-stress to [sic] work that by its nature does not require production [sic] high volume quotas and fast paced assembly line jobs.”
5) Plaintiff “is capable of performing past relevant work as a (2) cleaner, D.O.T. 323.687-014, light, svp 2 (full-time).”
6) Plaintiff “has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from March 15, 2011, through ...

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