United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Elkins
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
PRESTON BAILEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
day, the above-styled matter came before this Court for
consideration of the Report and Recommendation of United
States Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert [Doc. 17]. Pursuant
to this Court's local rules, this action was referred to
Magistrate Judge Seibert for submission of a proposed report
and recommendation (“R&R”). Magistrate Judge
Seibert filed his R&R on August 28, 2017, wherein he
recommends that the plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. 12] be denied, that the defendant's Motion
for Summary Judgment [Doc. 14] be granted, that the decision
of the Commissioner be affirmed, and that this case be
dismissed with prejudice. (Id.). On September 1,
2017, the plaintiff timely filed objections to the R&R
[Doc. 18]. For the reasons set forth below, this Court adopts
Magistrate Judge Seibert's R&R.
13, 2013, the plaintiff filed a Title II application for a
Period of Disability and Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”), and a Title XVI application for
supplemental security income (“SSI”) [Doc. 9-2 at
25]. In both applications, the claimant alleged disability
beginning August 20, 2012. (Id.). The claims were
initially denied on October 22, 2013 (Id.). The
plaintiff then filed a written request for hearing, and later
appeared and testified at a video hearing on November 5,
2015, before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
Emily Ruth Statum. (Id. at 38). On February 1, 2016,
the ALJ entered a decision finding that the plaintiff was not
disabled under Sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Social
Security Act. (Id.).
careful consideration of the entire record, and in accordance
with the five-step evaluation process described in 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1520, the ALJ made the following findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2017.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since March 29, 2013, when she stopped working. (20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
myasthenia gravis, obesity (BMI of 33.8), left foot calcaneal
spurs, occipital headaches, moderate major depressive
disorder, and an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety. (20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart
P, Appendix 1. (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 404.1525,
404.1526(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
light work as defined by the social security regulations,
requiring lifting and carrying 20 pounds, occasionally and 10
pounds, frequently, standing or walking 6 hours in an 8 hour
workday, sitting about 6 hours in an 8 hour workday,
unlimited pushing and pulling, occasionally climbing ramps or
stairs, no climbing of ladders, ropes, scaffolds,
occasionally balancing, occasionally stooping, occasionally
kneeling, crouching or crawling, avoiding a concentrated
exposure to the extremes of heat or cold, or vibration, or
hazards (machinery or heights) and performing simple
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a housekeeper and a janitor. These occupations do not
require the performance of work-related activities precluded
by the claimant's residual functional capacity. (20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from August 20, 2012, through the
date of this decision. (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(f)
23, 2016, the Appeals Council denied the plaintiff's
request for review, which made the ALJ's decision the
final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security [Doc.
9-2 at 2]. On July 21, 2016, the plaintiff filed the instant
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial
review of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security for denying the plaintiff's application [Doc.
1]. The R&R recommends affirming the decision of the ALJ
because that decision complied with the applicable law and
regulations and was supported by substantial evidence [Doc.
17 at 9].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this Court must conduct a
de novo review of any portion of the magistrate
judge's recommendation to which objection is timely made.
As to those portions of a recommendation to which no
objection is made, a magistrate judge's findings and
recommendation will be upheld unless they are “clearly
erroneous.” See Webb v. Califano, 458 F.Supp.
825 (E.D. Cal. 1979). Because the plaintiff filed timely