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Myers v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 29, 2017

KYLE M. MYERS, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

         APPEARANCES:

          FOR THE PLAINTIFF: Conboy, McKay Law Firm

          FOR THE DEFENDANTS: HON. RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN, United States Attorney

          Steven P. Conte Regional Chief Counsel Office of General Counsel, Region II

         OF COUNSEL:

          LAWRENCE D. HASSELER, ESQ.

          ELIZABETH D. ROTHSTEIN Special Assistant U.S. Attorney

          MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

          Gary L. Sharpe, Senior District Judge

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Kyle M. Myers challenges the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), seeking judicial review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) After reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering Myer's arguments, the Commissioner's decision is affirmed.

         II. Background

         On January 24, 2012, Myers filed an application for SSI under the Social Security Act (“the Act”), alleging an onset date of November 18, 2005. (Tr.[1] at 73, 140-46.) After his applications were denied, (id. at 74-79), Myers requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), (id. at 80-82), which was held on June 26, 2013, (id. at 47-72). On August 19, 2013, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision finding Myers not disabled and denying the requested benefits, (id. at 32-46), which became the Commissioner's final determination upon the Appeals Council's denial of review, (id. at 1-4).

         Myers commenced this action by filing his complaint on November 20, 2015 wherein he sought review of the Commissioner's determination. (See generally 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. 10, 11.)

         III. Contentions

         Myers contends that the Commissioner's decision is tainted by legal error and is not supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 10 at 12-22.) First, Myers asserts that the ALJ failed to consider whether his impairments met or medically equaled the severity of a listed impairment. (Id. at 12-13.) Next, Myers contends that the ALJ did not identify what limitations rendered his plantar fasciitis and genetic skin disorders severe. (Id. at 13.) Third, Myers argues that the ALJ did not adequately support her residual functional capacity (RFC) determination. (Id. at 13, 17-20.) Fourth, Myers maintains that the ALJ erred in evaluating medical opinion evidence. (Id. at 14-17.) Finally, Myers argues that the ALJ erred in her credibility assessment. (Id. at 20-22.) The Commissioner responds that the ALJ's decision was supported by substantial evidence and that she correctly assessed Myers' credibility. (Dkt. No. 11 at 5-17.)

         IV. Facts

         The court adopts the undisputed factual recitations of the parties and the ALJ. (Dkt. No. 10 at 1-11; Dkt. No. 11 at 2; Tr. at 37-42.)

         V. Standard of Review

         The standard for reviewing the Commissioner's final decision under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)[2] is well established and will not be repeated here. For a full discussion of the standard and the five-step process by which the Commissioner evaluates whether a claimant is disabled under the Act, the court refers the parties to its previous decision in Christiana v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., No. 1:05-CV-932, 2008 WL 759076, at *1-3 (N.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 2008).

         VI. ...


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