United States District Court, W.D. New York
JEANNE M. THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
ANDREW SAUL, COMMISSIONER, Defendant.
HUGH B. SCOTT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court are the parties' respective motions for
judgment on the pleadings (Docket Nos. 12 (plaintiff), 19
(defendant Commissioner)). Having considered the
Administrative Record, filed as Docket No. 7 (references
noted as “[R. ]”), and the papers of both sides,
this Court reaches the following decision.
an action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to
review the final determination of the Commissioner of Social
Security that plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, is
not entitled to disability insurance benefits and/or
Supplemental Security Income benefits. The parties consented
to proceed before a Magistrate Judge (Docket No. 23, Order of
Oct. 4, 2019).
plaintiff (“Jeanne Thompson” or
“plaintiff”) filed an application for disability
insurance benefits on April 28, 2015, and for Supplemental
Security Income on April 16, 2015 [R. 15]. That application
was denied initially. The plaintiff appeared before an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”), who considered
the case de novo and concluded, in a written
decision dated December 22, 2017, that the plaintiff was not
disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. The
ALJ's decision became the final decision of the
Commissioner on June 11, 2018, when the Appeals Council
denied plaintiff's request for review.
commenced this action on August 2, 2018 (Docket No. 1). The
parties moved for judgment on the pleadings (Docket Nos. 12,
19), and plaintiff duly replied (Docket No. 21). Upon further
consideration, this Court then determined that the motions
could be decided on the papers.
a 50-year-old with a college education, last worked as a
personal care aide [R. 178, 198] (Docket No. 12, Pl. Memo. at
5). She contends that she was disabled as of the onset date
of February 1, 2014 [R. 15]. Plaintiff claims the following
impairments deemed severe by the ALJ: mitochondrial
cytopathy, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and
Sjogren's syndrome [R. 18]. The ALJ noted other ailments
deemed to be non-severe at Step Two: irritable bowel
syndrome, GERD, systemic lupus erythematosus, and cervicalgia
[R. 18]. Plaintiff claims other ailments, chronic fatigue
syndrome, bladder impairments, and right foot/ankle pain,
that were not discussed by the ALJ (Docket No. 12, Pl. Memo.
at 1, 16-19).
AND VOCATIONAL EVIDENCE
found that plaintiff had a residual functional capacity to
perform light work, except she could carry, lift, push and
pull 20 pounds occasionally, 10 pounds frequently; could sit
for up to 6 hours in an 8-hour workday; could stand for up to
6 hours in a workday; and walk up to 6 hours in a workday [R.
found that plaintiff was able to perform past relevant work
as a personal care aide (medium level of exertion) which
plaintiff performed at a sedentary exertion level [R. 23].
Plaintiff performed this work for two to three days a week
for the first two years of her claimed disability until she
stopped working [R. 39-42, 150] (see Docket No. 19,
Def. Memo. at 18, 2). As a result, the ALJ held that
plaintiff was not disabled [R. 24].
only issue to be determined by this Court is whether the
ALJ's decision that the plaintiff was not under a
disability is supported by substantial evidence. See
42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Rivera v. Sullivan, 923
F.2d 964, 967 (2d Cir. 1991). Substantial evidence is defined
as “‘more than a mere scintilla. It means such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.'” Richardson