United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Zwart United States Magistrate Judge
an action for judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration that the
plaintiff, Terri Lynn Careccia, is not disabled. Careccia
seeks reversal of the decision of Andrew M. Saul, Acting
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner). Careccia argues the Commissioner's
decision is “contrary to law and not supported by
substantial evidence.” (Filing No. 14). The
Commissioner seeks affirmance of the decision, asserting that
Careccia “had a fair hearing and full administrative
consideration in accordance with applicable statutes and
regulations, and substantial evidence on the record as a
whole supports the Commissioner's decision.”
(Filing No. 17).
reasons stated below, the Commissioner's decision will be
filed for a period of disability and disability insurance
benefits on November 17, 2015, alleging disability beginning
September 16, 2015. (Filing No. 10-2, at CM/ECF p. 11). The
claim was initially denied on June 20, 2016, and again upon
reconsideration on September 28, 2016. (Id.).
Careccia requested a hearing, which was held on April 13,
2018 before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
August 1, 2018, the ALJ issued a written decision denying
Careccia's claims for benefits. (Filing No. 10-2, at
CM/ECF p. 8). Careccia filed a request for review of the
ALJ's decision. The Appeals Council denied the request on
February 16, 2019. (Filing No. 10-2, at CM/ECF pp. 2-4).
Careccia filed her appeal in this court pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
405(g), on April 4, 2019. (Filing No. 1).
evaluated Careccia's claim through the five-step
evaluation process described in 20 CFR 404.1520(a) to
determine whether Careccia was disabled under sections 216(i)
and 223(d) of the Social Security Act. As reflected in his
decision, the ALJ made the following findings:
1. The claimant last met the insured status requirement of
the Social Security Act on June 30, 2018. (Filing No. 10-2,
at CM/ECF p. 13).
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from her alleged onset date of
September 16, 2015, through her date last insured of June 30,
2018 (20 CFR 404.1571 et. seq.). (Filing No. 10-2, at CM/ECF
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the
following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, depression, and
hearing loss (20 CFR 404.1520(c)). (Filing No. 10-2, at
CM/ECF p. 14).
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 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR
404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526). (Filing No. 10-2, at
CM/ECF p. 15).
5. Through the date last insured, the claimant has the
residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform sedentary work
as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a). She is able to perform work
that requires no climbing of ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, or
crawling; and no more than occasional climbing of ramps and
stairs, balancing, kneeling, stooping, and crouching. The
claimant can perform work that requires no concentrated
exposure to temperature extremes, vibration, humidity, loud
noise, or hazards such as unprotected heights, and she is
able to perform work that requires no contact with the
general public and limited contact with co-workers. (Filing
No. 10-2, at CM/ECF p. 17).
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was capable of
performing past relevant work as a data entry clerk and
accounting clerk. This work did not require the performance
of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's
residual function capacity (20 CFR 404.1565). (Filing No.
10-2, at CM/ECF p. 22).
7. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the
Social Security Act, at any time from September 16, 2015, the
alleged onset date, through June 30, 2018, the date last
insured (20 CFR 404.1520(f)). (Filing No. 10-2, at CM/ECF p.
Issues Raised for Judicial Review
requests judicial review of the ALJ's decision, asserting
the following arguments support her claim for reversal:
1. The ALJ erred by failing to analyze the opinion evidence
in accordance with the regulations, agency policy, and Eighth
2. The ALJ's credibility assessment is deficient
generally as a result of the errors described above; and
specifically so in that the ALJ failed to consider
Plaintiff's stellar work history.
(Filing No. 15, at CM/ECF p. 1).
Record and Proceedings Before the ALJ
was an individual of advanced age, with a high school
education and past relevant work as a data entry clerk and
accounting clerk when she submitted her application for
benefits. She claimed mental and physical conditions which
limited her ability to work, including: 1) hearing loss in
her right ear; 2) fibromyalgia; 3) arthritis; 4) high blood
pressure; 5) GERD; 6) heart murmur; 7) vision issues; 8)
tendonitis in right wrist; and 9) Type 2 diabetes. (Filing
No. 10-6, at CM/ECF p. 15). In addition, there was testimony
at the hearing ...