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Young v. Colvin

United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division

November 3, 2014

DIANA YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Defendant.

ENTRY ON JUDICIAL REVIEW

Denise K. LaRue United States Magistrate Judge

Plaintiff Diana Young (“Young”) requests judicial review of the decision of Defendant Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the “Commissioner”), denying Young’s application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”). For the reasons set forth below, the Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural History

Young filed applications for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) on February 3, 2009, alleging an onset of disability of June 30, 2006. [Dkt. 12-2 at 17.] Young’s applications were denied initially on May 8, 2009, and upon reconsideration on July 13, 2009. [Id.] Young requested a hearing, which was held on April 25, 2011, before Administrative Law Judge James R. Norris (“ALJ”). The ALJ denied Young’s application on May 18, 2011. [Dkt. 13-2 at 14.] The Appeals Council denied Young’s request for review of the ALJ’s decision on February 6, 2013, making the ALJ’s decision final for purposes of judicial review. Young filed her Complaint with this Court on March 27, 2013. [Dkt. 1.]

B. Factual Background and Medical History

Young was born on February 1, 1960 and was 51 years old on the date of the hearing. She has past relevant work as a janitor and teacher’s aide. Young testified that she left her most recent job at Dairy Queen in 2006 because of pain and stiffness.

Young initially alleged in her application for disability impairments of hiatal hernia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (“GERD”), high cholesterol, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”), bronchitis, arthritis, and dysphasia. The ALJ found Young suffers from the severe impairments of degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, degenerative joint disease of the shoulder, obesity and COPD. As Young and the ALJ thoroughly summarized the medical records, the Court will only cite to the portions relevant to the issues on which Young requests review.

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Standard for Proving Disability

To be eligible for SSI and DIB, a claimant must show he is unable to “engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). To evaluate a disability claim, an ALJ must use the following five-step inquiry:

Step One: Is the claimant currently employed;
Step Two: Does the claimant have a severe impairment or combination of impairments;
Step Three: Does the claimant’s impairment meet or equal any impairment listed in the regulations as being so severe as to ...

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