Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bistoff v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. New York

June 27, 2017

ERICA ELIZABETH BISTOFF, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          HON. MICHAEL A. TELESCA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Represented by counsel, Erica Bistoff (“Plaintiff”) instituted this action pursuant to Title XVI of the Social Security Act (“the Act”), seeking review of the final decision of the Acting Commissioner of Social Security (“the Commissioner”)[1] denying her application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). This Court has jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c).

         PROCEDURAL STATUS

         Plaintiff filed an application for SSI on October 4, 2011, alleging disability beginning September 9, 1989, due to a learning disability, anxiety, depression, asthma, sleep apnea, an extremely sensitive vestibular system, sensory integration problems, high risk for retinal detachment, phobia of school, short-term memory loss, and an auditory decoding deficit. (T.158).[2] After this application was denied on December 27, 2011, Plaintiff requested a hearing, which was held in Buffalo, New York, on January 11, 2012, before administrative law judge Curtis Axelsen (“the ALJ”). Plaintiff appeared with her attorney and testified. The ALJ did not call any witnesses. On March 8, 2013, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision, finding that she was not under a “disability” as defined by the Act from, October 4, 2011, [3] the SSI application date, through the date of the ALJ's decision. (T.7-26). The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on September 28, 2014, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. (T.1-5). This timely action followed.

         The parties have cross-moved for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court adopts and incorporates by reference herein the undisputed and comprehensive factual summaries contained in the parties' briefs. The record will be discussed in more detail below as necessary to the resolution of this appeal. For the reasons that follow, the Commissioner's decision is affirmed.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

         The ALJ followed the five-step procedure established by the Commissioner for evaluating disability claims. See 20 C.F.R. § 416.920.

         At step one, the ALJ noted that Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 4, 2011, the application date.

         At step two, the ALJ assessed Plaintiff as having the severe impairments: obesity, chronic sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea and anxiety.

         At step three, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff's impairments, while “severe” within the meaning of the Regulations, are not severe enough to meet or medically equal any impairments listed in the Listing of Impairments, see 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.

         Prior to proceeding to step four, the ALJ made a determination as to Plaintiff's residual functional capacity (“RFC”). The ALJ initially noted that the medical evidence does not support the existence of any significant exertional limitations and, in fact, would support the RFC to perform work at the medium exertional level. However, considering Plaintiff's obesity, the ALJ found that Plaintiff retains the RFC to perform work at the light exertional level, with the need to avoid respiratory triggers due to her chronic sinus problems. The ALJ thus assessed Plaintiff has the RFC to perform “light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 416.967(b) in a work environment free of excessive dust, fumes and respiratory irritants, [and] involving occasional contact with coworkers, supervisors and the public.” (T.).

         At step four, the ALJ found that Plaintiff has no past relevant work, was 22 years-old on the date the application was filed, and had a high school education.

         At step five, the ALJ found that Medical-Vocational Rule 202.20 directed a finding of “not disabled” because the additional limitations caused by Plaintiff's nonexertional limitations have little or no effect on the occupational basis of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.