United States District Court, D. Nebraska
R. Zwart United States Magistrate Judge.
Kurtis T. Wiemers (“Wiemers”), seeks review of
the decision by the defendant, Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the
“Commissioner”), denying his application for
Social Security disability insurance and benefits under Title
II of the Act. See 42 U.S.C. § 1381. After carefully
reviewing the record, the Commissioner's decision is
applied for Title II disability and disability insurance
benefits on April 11, 2013, claiming he is unable to work due
to disability beginning April 17, 2012. (Filing No. 22-2 at
CM/ECF p. 19). Wiemers subsequently amended his disability
onset date to March 7, 2012. (Id.). Wiemers'
claim was denied on July 25, 2013. Upon reconsideration, the
claim was again denied on March 13, 2014. Plaintiff then
filed a written request for a hearing. Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) J. Doug Wolfe presided over a video
hearing, in accordance with 20 C.F.R. 404.936(c), on March 4,
2015. Wiemers was represented by attorney Mary Kay Hansen.
Wolfe issued his written opinion on April 15, 2015, finding
that Wiemers was not disabled within the meaning of the
Social Security Act (“the Act”). (Id. at
CM/ECF p. 16). On June 28, 2016, the Appeals Council denied
Wiemers request for review. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 2).
Wiemers timely appealed the Commissioner's final decision
to this court on August 30, 2016. (Filing No. 1).
evaluated Johnson's claim through the five-step
sequential evaluation process to determine whether Johnson
was disabled. 20 C.F.R. §416.920(a)(4). As reflected in
his decision, the ALJ made the following findings:
1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of
the Social Security Act on December 31, 2013.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity during the period from his alleged onset date of
March 7, 2012 through his date last insured of December 31,
2013. (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. Through the date last insured, claimant had the following
severe impairments: degenerative lumbar disc disease status
post two surgeries on disc L5, bipolar disorder, and a
generalized anxiety disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have
an impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR
404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b). However,
claimant is physically limited to performing postural
activities for one-third (1/3) of an eight (8) hour work day
and is mentally limited to simple unskilled work.
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was unable to
perform any past relevant work. (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on August 7, 1971 and was 42 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the date last insured (20 CFR 404.1563).
8. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is "not disabled, " whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41
and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
10. Through the dated last insured, considering the
claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual
functional capacity, there were jobs that existed in
significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant
could have performed (20 CFR 404.1569 and 404.1569(a)).
11. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in
the Social Security Act, at any time from March 7, 2012, the
alleged onset date, through December 31, 2013, the date last
insured (20 CFR 404.1520(g)).
ISSUES RAISED FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW
requests judicial review of the ALJ's decision. In his
complaint (Filing No. 1), and his filing in opposition to
Defendant's motion to affirm, (Filing No. 31), Wiemers
raises the following arguments in favor of reversal:
1. Whether the Commissioner afforded appropriate weight to
the treating-source opinions of Dr. Glenn and Dr. Tatay.
2. Whether the Commissioner afforded appropriate weight to
the opinion of consultative examiner Dr. Meyer.
3. Whether the Commissioner's ultimate decision was
supported by substantial evidence.
RECORD AND PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE ALJ
was 42-years-old on the date he last met the insured status
requirements of the Social Security Act. (Filing No. 22-2 at
CM/ECF p. 30) Wiemers, a high school graduate, is able to
communicate in English. He has past relevant work experience
as a heavy truck driver ...