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Kimberly Harris v. Michael J. Astrue

March 26, 2012

KIMBERLY HARRIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

ELECTRONICALLY FILED MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

Kimberly Harris ("Plaintiff") brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking review of the final determination of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Defendant" or "Commissioner") denying her application for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") and supplemental security income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401 -- 433, 1381 -- 1383f ("Act"). This matter comes before the Court upon Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendant. (ECF No. 10). The record has been developed at the administrative level. For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff filed for DIB and SSI with the Social Security Administration on January 4, 2008, claiming an inability to work due to disability beginning June 30, 2006. (R. at 137 152)*fn1 . Plaintiff was initially denied benefits on April 8, 2008. (R. at 72 -- 81). A hearing was scheduled for April 2, 2010, and Plaintiff appeared to testify represented by counsel. (R. at 32 --50). A vocational expert also testified. (R. at 32 -- 50). The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") issued his decision denying benefits to Plaintiff on April 15, 2010. (R. at 7 -- 31). Plaintiff filed a request for review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals Council, which request was denied on July 26, 2011, thereby making the decision of the ALJ the final decision of the Commissioner. (R. at 1 -- 4).

Plaintiff filed her Complaint in this Court on September 28, 2011. (ECF No. 4).

Defendant filed his Answer on December 19, 2011. (ECF No. 5). Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment followed*fn2 .

III. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

In the ALJ's decision denying DIB and SSI to Plaintiff, the ALJ made the following findings:

1. The claimant met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2010;

2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 30, 2006, the alleged onset date;

3. The claimant had the following mental diagnoses, which singularly or in combination, are severe impairments: major depressive disorder NOS, rule of bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and history of substance abuse in remission since October 2007. However, the remaining medically determinable impairments of record are non-severe;

4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpt. P, App'x 1;

5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels. However she does have non-exertional limitations due to her mental impairments and therefore she is limited to simple instructions and should avoid work in close coordination with or proximity to others; anything more than simple decision-making; avoid crowds and groups of people; avoid intensive supervision; avoid changes in the work setting; and avoid assembly line pace work;

6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work;

7. The claimant was 36 years old on the alleged disability onset sate, which is defined as a ...


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