United States District Court, W.D. New York
OFFICES OF KENNETH HILLER, PLLC Counsel for Plaintiff KELLY
ELIZABETH LAGA-SCIANDRA, ESQ. KENNETH R. HILLER, ESQ.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN. OFFICE OF REG'L GEN. COUNSEL -
REGION II Counsel for Defendant ARIELLA RENEE ZOLTAN, ESQ.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Gregory Wehrman, U.S. Magistrate Judge
parties consented in accordance with a standing order to
proceed before the undersigned. The court has jurisdiction
over this matter pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The
matter is presently before the court on the parties'
cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule
12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Upon review of
the administrative record and consideration of the
parties' filings, the Plaintiff's motion for judgment
on the administrative record is DENIED, the
Defendant's motion for judgment on the administrative
record is GRANTED, and the decision of the
Commissioner is AFFIRMED.
was born on January 30, 1990, and graduated high school. (Tr.
197, 22). Generally, Plaintiff's alleged disability
consists of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and chronic back pain.
(Tr. 201). Her alleged onset date of disability is August 1,
2011. (Tr. 197).
23, 2014, Plaintiff applied for a period of Disability
Insurance Benefits (“SSD”) under Title II and
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title
XVI of the Social Security Act. (Tr. 156-168).
Plaintiff's application was initially denied, after which
she timely requested a hearing before an Administrative Law
Judge (“the ALJ”). On March 9, 2017, Plaintiff
appeared before the ALJ, Sharon Seeley. (Tr. 12). On October
4, 2017, ALJ Seeley issued a written decision finding
Plaintiff not disabled under the Social Security Act. (Tr.
9-24). On October 30, 2018, the Appeals Council
(“AC”) denied Plaintiff's request for review,
rendering the ALJ's decision the final decision of the
Commissioner. (Tr. 1-8). Thereafter, Plaintiff timely sought
judicial review in this Court.
The ALJ's Decision
in her decision, the ALJ made the following findings of fact
and conclusions of law:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2012.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since August 1, 2011, the application date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: major
depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress
disorder (“PTSD”), attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”) and cocaine
dependency/abuse (20 CFR 44.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, I find
that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but
with the following nonexertional limitations. The claimant
can: understand, remember and carry out simple, routine
instructions and tasks, and maintain attention and
concentration sufficient for such tasks with customary work
breaks; have occasional, incidental interaction with
coworkers and the general public; work in an environment with
no exposure to large groups of people or to noise above a
moderate level such as that found in a business office,
supermarket, or department store; and work in a low-stress
environment, meaning one with no supervisory
responsibilities, no independent decision making required
except with respect to simple, routine work related
decisions, no work at a highly speeded production rate pace
required, and minimal changes to work routines, processes and
6. The claimant, having never been employed at the level of
substantial gainful activity, has no past relevant work (20
CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant was born on January 30, 1990, and was 21
years old, which is defined as a younger individual age
18-44, on the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1563 and
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1534 and 416.964).
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the
claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1568
10. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 404.1569, 404.1569(a),
416.969 and 416.969(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from August 1, 2011, through the
date of the decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).
(Tr. 9 -24).
THE PARTIES' BRIEFINGS ON ...