United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ANDREA M. PERRY, Plaintiff,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Denise K. LaRue United States Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff Andrea M. Perry (" Perry") requests judicial review of the decision of Defendant Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the " Commissioner"), denying Perry's applications for disability insurance benefits (" DIB") and supplemental security income (" SSI"). The Honorable Tanya W. Pratt, District Judge, designated this Magistrate Judge, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), to issue a report and recommendation on the request. [Dkt. 27.]
For the reasons set forth below, the undersigned recommends the Commissioner's decision be AFFIRMED.
A. Procedural History
Perry filed applications for DIB and SSI on January 3, 2011, alleging an onset of disability of July 1, 2009. [Dkt. 15-2 at 12.] Perry's application was denied initially on May 6, 2011, and upon reconsideration on October 3, 2011. Id. Perry requested a hearing, which was held before Administrative Law Judge James R. Norris (" ALJ") on July 27, 2012. The Appeals Council denied Perry's request for review of the ALJ's decision on September 27, 2013, making the ALJ's decision final for purposes of judicial review. [Dkt. 15-2 at 2.] Perry filed her Complaint with this Court on November 25, 2013. [Dkt. 1.]
B. Factual Background and Medical History
Perry was born on January 24, 1981, and was 31 years old at the time of the hearing. She has past relevant work as an appointment clerk. Perry received her GED and has taken some college courses. Perry testified that she last worked in 2009 at Church's Chicken through a work-study program at Marten University. She stopped working when she became too far along in a pregnancy to continue to work. This employment was not consistent enough to constitute substantial gainful activity (" SGA").
The ALJ found Perry suffers from the severe impairments of vision impairment, polysubstance dependence and antisocial personality disorder. As Perry and the ALJ thoroughly summarized the medical records, the Court will only cite to the portions relevant to the issues on which Perry requests review.
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 preclude substantial gainful activity;
Step Four: Can the claimant perform his past relevant work; and
Step Five: Is the ...