United States District Court, N.D. New York
MARISOL RIVERA Pro Se
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN. DAVID B. MYERS, ESQ. OFFICE OF
REG'L GEN. COUNSEL - REGION II Counsel for Defendant
DECISION AND ORDER
T. SUDDABY, Chief United States District Judge
before the Court, in this Social Security action filed by
Marisol Rivera (“Plaintiff”) against the
Commissioner of Social Security (“Defendant” or
“the Commissioner”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3), are Plaintiff's
motion for judgment on the pleadings and Defendant's
motion for judgment on the pleadings. (Dkt. Nos. 15, 16, 17.)
For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion for
judgment on the pleadings is denied, and Defendant's
motion for judgment on the pleadings is granted. The
Commissioner's decision denying Plaintiff's
disability benefits is affirmed, and Plaintiff's
Complaint is dismissed.
was born in 1962, making her 50 years old at the alleged
onset date and 51 years old at the date of the ALJ's
decision. Plaintiff reported completing the 8th grade.
Plaintiff has past work as a housekeeper/cleaner,
institutional cook, and personal care aide. Generally,
Plaintiff alleges disability due to limited mobility, lumbar
pain, cervical pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, and obesity.
applied for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental
Security Income on June 13, 2014, alleging disability
beginning February 11, 2013. Plaintiff's applications
were initially denied on October 3, 2013, after which she
timely requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”). Plaintiff appeared at a video hearing
before ALJ Michael A. Rodriquez on August 5, 2014. On
November 7, 2014, the ALJ issued a written decision finding
Plaintiff was not disabled under the Social Security Act. (T.
8-14.) On December 30, 2015, the Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the
ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.
The ALJ's Decision
in his decision, the ALJ made the following six findings of
fact and conclusions of law. (T. 10-14.) First, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff is insured for disability benefits under Title
II until December 31, 2017. (T. 10.) Second, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date. (Id.) Third,
the ALJ found that Plaintiff's degenerative joint disease
of the lumbar and cervical spine, diabetes mellitus, vitamin
D deficiency, hypertension, obesity, and spinal neoplasm are
severe impairments. (Id.) Fourth, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff's severe impairments do not meet or medically
equal one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. § 404,
Subpart P, App. 1 (the “Listings”). (T. 10-11.)
Fifth, the ALJ found that Plaintiff has the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b).
The claimant is capable of lifting and carrying occasionally
20 pounds (10 pounds frequently), and standing, walking, and
sitting 6 hours during an 8-hour workday except no climbing
ropes, ladders, and scaffolds, limited to occasional kneeling
and crouching but no crawling; and limited to frequent
reaching (overhead/distance and direction), frequent
dexterity/fingering (fine manipulation) and frequent
grip/handling (gross manipulation).
(T. 11.) Sixth, and finally, the ALJ found that Plaintiff
remains able to perform her past relevant work as a
cleaner/housekeeper both as generally performed and as
actually performed, and therefore is not disabled. (T.
The Parties' Briefings on ...