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 Robert W. Trumble [Doc. 18]. Pursuant
to this Court's local rules, this action was referred to
Magistrate Judge Trumble for submission of a proposed report
and recommendation (“R&R”). Magistrate Judge
Trumble filed his R&R on August 25, 2017, wherein he
recommends that the plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. 10] 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 [Doc. 18]. On September 5, 2017, the
plaintiff timely filed objections to the R&R [Doc. 19].
For the reasons set forth below, this Court adopts Magistrate
Judge Trumble's R&R.
October 22, 2013, the plaintiff filed a Title II application
for a Period of Disability and Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) [Doc. 7-2 at 20]. In the application, the
claimant alleged disability beginning January 1, 2013.
(Id.). The claim was initially denied on February
20, 2014, and upon reconsideration on March 24, 2014.
(Id.). The plaintiff then filed a written request
for hearing, and later appeared and testified at a hearing on
October 22, 2015, before Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Karen B. Kostol. (Id. at 33). On
November 9, 2015, 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 June 30, 2018.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since January 1, 2013, the alleged onset date. (20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
osteoarthritis of the left knee and hip; mild degenerative
joint disease of the left hip; tendinitis of the left rotator
cuff; headaches; mild pulmonary restrictive disease; obesity;
hypertensive cardiovascular disease; and obstructive sleep
apnea. (20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(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,
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
medium work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(c) (i.e.
is able to occasionally lift and/or carry 50 pounds;
frequently lift and/or carry 25 pounds; and stand and/or
walk, with normal breaks, for a total of about 6 hours in an
8-hour workday), except the claimant can never climb ladders,
ropes or scaffolds; can only occasionally balance and crawl;
can frequently climb ramps or stairs, stoop, crouch, and
kneel; must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold,
extreme heat, excessive noise, and irritants (such as fumes,
odors, dust, and gases), must avoid all exposure to hazards
(such as unprotected heights and dangerous moving machinery);
can only occasionally reach overhead, laterally, and behind
with the left upper extremity; is limited to simple, routine,
and repetitive tasks in a low stress job, defined as having
only occasional changes in the work setting, and no strict
production quotas, and is limited to occasional interaction
with the general public, co-workers, and supervisors.
6. The claimant has no past relevant work. (20 C.F.R. §
7. The claimant was born on September 28, 1959 and was 53
years old, which is defined as an individual closely
approaching advanced age, on the alleged disability onset
date. (20 C.F.R. § 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English. (20 C.F.R. § 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the
claimant does not have past relevant work. (20 C.F.R. §
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 C.F.R. §§
404.1569 and 404.1569(a)).
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from January 1, 2013, through the
date of the ALJ's decision. ...