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Boyer v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 31, 2017

TAMMIE BOYER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY BERRYHILL, [1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          FOR THE PLAINTIFF: Office of Mark A. Schneider.

          FOR THE DEFENDANTS: HON. RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN United States Attorney, Steven P. Conte Regional Chief Counsel.

          OF COUNSEL: MARK A. SCHNEIDER, ESQ. KRISTINA D. COHN Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.

          MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

          GARY L. SHARPE, SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Tammie Boyer challenges the Commissioner of Social Security's denial of supplemental security income (SSI), seeking judicial review under 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) After reviewing the administrative record and carefully considering Boyer's arguments, the Commissioner's decision is affirmed.

         II. Background

         On March 30, 2012, Boyer filed applications for DIB and SSI under the Social Security Act (“the Act”). (Tr.[2] at 165, 166, 259-69.) After her applications were denied, (id. at 170-77), Boyer requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), (id. at 182-87), which was held on March 28, 2014 and continued on July 17, 2014, (id. at 27-88). At the March 2014 hearing, Boyer amended her disability onset date to April 19, 2011 and withdrew her DIB application. (Id. at 51-55.) On July 29, 2014, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision finding Boyer ineligible for SSI and denying the requested benefits, (id. at 9-26), which became the Commissioner's final determination upon the Appeals Council's denial of review, (id. at 1-6).

         Boyer commenced this action by filing her complaint on January 12, 2016 wherein she 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. 9, 10.) Each party, seeking judgment on the pleadings, filed a brief. (Dkt. Nos. 13, 14.)

         III. Contentions

         Boyer contends that the Commissioner's decision is tainted by legal error and is not supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 13 at 21-35.) Boyer asserts that the ALJ erred by not finding that her impairments met listing 12.04 or 12.06. (Id. at 29-31.) Next, Boyer argues that the ALJ failed to properly weigh the opinion of her treating psychiatrist. (Id. at 21-29.) Additionally, Boyer contends the ALJ erred by failing to credit her testimony. (Id. at 31-34.) Finally, Boyer submits that the ALJ erred by presenting the vocational expert (VE) with an inaccurate hypothetical residual functional capacity (RFC). (Id. at 34-35.) In response, the Commissioner asserts that the ALJ's decision is legally sound and supported by substantial evidence. (Dkt. No. 14 at 2-17.)

         IV. Facts

         The court adopts the undisputed factual recitations of the parties and the ALJ. (Dkt. No. 13 at 2-18; Dkt. No. 14 at 1; Tr. at 15-21.)

         V. Stand ...


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