ROBERTS v. COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 1/3/2017. (dmr)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
KATHY L. ROBERTS,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
11450 BUSTLETON AVENUE
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19116
PAUL T. MCCHESNEY (pro hac vice)
188 ALABAMA STREET
SPARTANBURG, SC 29302
On behalf of Plaintiff
QUINN E.N. DOGGETT
RACHEL E. LICAUSI
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
300 SPRING GARDEN STREET
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123
On behalf of Defendant
HILLMAN, District Judge
This matter comes before the Court pursuant to Section
205(g) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), regarding Plaintiff’s application for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income
(“Social Security benefits”) under Title II and Title XVI of the
Social Security Act. 1
42 U.S.C. § 401, et seq.
The issue before
the Court is whether the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) erred
in finding that there was “substantial evidence” that Plaintiff
was not disabled at any time since her alleged onset date of
disability, January 20, 2006.
For the reasons stated below,
this Court will affirm that decision.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
This Social Security appeal presents a more complex
procedural history than most.
On June 26, 2006, Plaintiff,
Kathy L. Roberts, protectively filed for Period of Disability
and Disability Insurance Benefits, based on Title II of the
Social Security Act, alleging an onset date of January 20, 2006.
Plaintiff claimed several impairments, including lumbar spine
degenerative disc disease, hypertension, episodic sciatica,
recurrent episodes of sinusitis, venous insufficiency, trench
foot, fibromyalgia, depressive disorder with anxiety features,
somatoform disorder, bilateral L5 radiculopathy, and adjustment
disorder with depression and anxiety.
Plaintiff had previously
As explained below, the Appeals Council consolidated
Plaintiff’s applications for Social Security benefits and DIB,
and the ALJ issued a ruling on both applications in a single
decision. (R. at 621.)
worked as a receiving checker, an administrative clerk, a
general clerk, an accounting clerk, and a service establishment
The claims were denied on August 29, 2006 and again
on November 28, 2006, and Plaintiff filed a request for hearing
on December 7, 2006.
Plaintiff protectively filed an SSI application on August
This application was escalated to the hearing level.
A hearing was held, and on June 26, 2008 an unfavorable decision
was issued by an ALJ, denying the claim.
Plaintiff filed a
Request for Review of Hearing Decision/Order on August 22, 2008.
While awaiting Appeals Council review, Plaintiff protectively
filed another claim for Period of Disability and Disability
Insurance Benefits on April 27, 2009, with an alleged onset date
of February 1, 2009.
It was denied at the initial level on
January 14, 2010.
On March 18, 2010, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff’s
August 22, 2008 Request for Review of the denial of Plaintiff’s
August 17, 2007 claim.
Plaintiff thereafter brought a civil
action in the United States District Court for the District of
South Carolina, where Plaintiff previously resided, and on April
11, 2011, that court remanded the action to the Social Security
On November 14, 2011, the Appeals Council
vacated its March 18, 2010 Order and remanded the case for
further administrative proceedings. 2
In its November 14, 2011 order remanding Plaintiff’s August
17, 2007 claim, the Appeals Council also rendered the April 27,
2009 claim as duplicative of Plaintiff’s August 17, 2007 claim.
The Appeals Council instructed the Office of Disability
Adjudication and Review (“ODAR”) to associate the two claims –
one for DIB and one for Social Security benefits - and issue a
new decision on the associated claims.
The ALJ held another
hearing and issued another unfavorable decision on December 6,
Plaintiff filed a Request for Review of Hearing
Decision/Order on January 2, 2013.
In an order dated April 9, 2013, the Appeals Council
remanded the case to a different ALJ.
Plaintiff appeared and
testified at a hearing held on January 14, 2014, in Greenville,
An impartial vocational expert also appeared at
On March 6, 2015, the ALJ issued her decision denying
Plaintiff’s application, finding that even though Plaintiff
The ALJ’s recitation of the procedural history stated that the
Appeals Council vacated its previous Order on November 24, 2011.
This is a typographical error. The correct date of the Appeal
Council’s Order is November 14, 2011. (R. at 712.)
suffered from a severe impairment – lumbar spine degenerative
disc disease with herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) at L4-5 and
radiculopathy - the claimant was not disabled from her alleged
onset of disability, January 20, 2006, through February 17,
2010, the end of the requested closed period, because she
retained the residual functional capacity to perform her past
work as an accounting clerk.
Plaintiff appealed that decision to the Appeals Council,
which denied Plaintiff’s request for review on July 15, 2015.
Having exhausted all of her administrative remedies, Plaintiff
has filed the instant action seeking this Court’s review of the
ALJ’s March 6, 2015 decision.
Standard of Review
Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), Congress provided for judicial
review of the Commissioner’s decision to deny a complainant’s
application for Disability Insurance Benefits.
Shalala, 55 F.3d 900, 901 (3d Cir. 1995).
A reviewing court
must uphold the Commissioner’s factual decisions where they are
supported by “substantial evidence.”
42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g),
1383(c)(3); Fargnoli v. Massanari, 247 F.3d 34, 38 (3d Cir.
2001); Sykes v. Apfel, 228 F.3d 259, 262 (3d Cir. 2000);
Williams v. Sullivan, 970 F.2d 1178, 1182 (3d Cir. 1992).
Substantial evidence means more than “a mere scintilla.”
Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971)(quoting
Consolidated Edison Co. V. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938)).
means “such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept
as adequate to support a conclusion.”
The inquiry is not
whether the reviewing court would have made the same
determination, but whether the Commissioner’s conclusion was
See Brown v. Bowen, 845 F.2d 1211, 1213 (3d Cir.
A reviewing court has a duty to review the evidence in its
See Daring v. Heckler, 727 F.2d 64, 70 (3d Cir.
“[A] court must ‘take into account whatever in the
record fairly detracts from its weight.’” Schonewolf v.
Callahan, 972 F. Supp. 277, 284 (D.N.J. 1997) (quoting Willbanks
v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 847 F.2d 301, 303 (6th
Cir. 1988) (quoting Universal Camera Corp. V. NLRB, 340 U.S.
474, 488 (1951)).
The Commissioner “must adequately explain in the record his
reasons for rejecting or discrediting competent evidence.”
Ogden v. Bowen, 677 F. Supp. 273, 278 (M.D. Pa. 1987) (citing
Brewster v. Heckler, 786 F.2d 581 (3d Cir. 1986)).
Circuit has held that an “ALJ must review all pertinent medical
evidence and explain his conciliations and rejections.”
v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 220 F.3d 112, 122 (3d Cir. 2000).
Similarly, an ALJ must also consider and weigh all of the nonmedical evidence before him.
Id. (citing Van Horn v. Schweiker,
717 F.2d 871, 873 (3d Cir. 1983)); Cotter v. Harris, 642 F.2d
700, 707 (3d Cir. 1981).
The Third Circuit has held that access to the
Commissioner’s reasoning is indeed essential to a meaningful
Unless the [Commissioner] has analyzed all
evidence and has sufficiently explained the
weight he has given to obviously probative
exhibits, to say that his decision is
supported by substantial evidence approaches
an abdication of the court’s duty to
scrutinize the record as a whole to
determine whether the conclusions reached
Gober v. Matthews, 574 F.2d 772, 776 (3d Cir. 1978).
an ALJ, as the fact finder, must consider and evaluate the
medical evidence presented, Fargnoli, 247 F.3d at 42, “[t]here
is no requirement that the ALJ discuss in its opinion every
tidbit of evidence included in the record,” Hur v. Barnhart, 94
F. App’x 130, 133 (3d Cir. 2004).
In terms of judicial review,
a district court is not “empowered to weigh the evidence or
substitute its conclusions for those of the fact-finder.”
Williams, 970 F.2d at 1182.
However, apart from the substantial
evidence inquiry, a reviewing court is entitled to satisfy
itself that the Commissioner arrived at his decision by
application of the proper legal standards.
Sykes, 228 F.3d at
262; Friedberg v. Schweiker, 721 F.2d 445, 447 (3d Cir. 1983);
Curtin v. Harris, 508 F. Supp. 791, 793 (D.N.J. 1981).
Standard for Disability Insurance Benefits
The Social Security Act defines “disability” for purposes
of an entitlement to a period of disability and disability
insurance benefits as the inability 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.
See 42 U.S.C. §
Under this definition, a Plaintiff qualifies as
disabled only if his physical or mental impairments are of such
severity that he is not only unable to perform his past relevant
work, but cannot, given his age, education, and work experience,
engage in any other type of substantial gainful work which
exists in the national economy, regardless of whether such work
exists in the immediate area in which he lives, or whether a
specific job vacancy exists for him, or whether he would be
hired if he applied for work.
42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(B)
The Commissioner has promulgated regulations for
determining disability that require application of a five-step
See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520.
process is summarized as follows:
If the claimant currently is engaged in substantial
gainful employment, he will be found “not disabled.”
If the claimant does not suffer from a “severe
impairment,” he will be found “not disabled.”
If the severe impairment meets or equals a listed
impairment in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix
1 and has lasted or is expected to last for a
continuous period of at least twelve months, the
claimant will be found “disabled.”
If the claimant can still perform work he has done in
the past (“past relevant work”) despite the severe
impairment, he will be found “not disabled.”
Finally, the Commissioner will consider the claimant’s
ability to perform work (“residual functional
capacity”), age, education, and past work experience
to determine whether or not he is capable of
performing other work which exists in the national
economy. If he is incapable, he will be found
“disabled.” If he is capable, he will be found “not
20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(b)-(f).
Entitlement to benefits is
therefore dependent upon a finding that the claimant is
incapable of performing work in the national economy.
This five-step process involves a shifting burden of proof.
See Wallace v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 722 F.2d
1150, 1153 (3d Cir. 1983).
In the first four steps of the
analysis, the burden is on the claimant to prove every element
of his claim by a preponderance of the evidence.
the final step, the Commissioner bears the burden of proving
that work is available for the Plaintiff: “Once a claimant has
proved that he is unable to perform his former job, the burden
shifts to the Commissioner to prove that there is some other
kind of substantial gainful employment he is able to perform.”
Kangas v. Bowen, 823 F.2d 775, 777 (3d Cir. 1987); see Olsen v.
Schweiker, 703 F.2d 751, 753 (3d Cir. 1983).
At step one, the ALJ found that Plaintiff has not engaged
in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset of
At step two, the ALJ found that Plaintiff’s
impairment of lumbar spine degenerative disc disease with
herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) at L4-5 and radiculopathy was
At step three the ALJ determined that Plaintiff’s
severe impairment or her severe impairment in combination with
her other impairments did not equal the severity of one of the
For step four, the ALJ determined that
Plaintiff could perform her past work as an accounting clerk,
which job is of a sedentary level and exists in sufficient
numbers in the national economy.
Plaintiff has raised two issues on appeal.
contends that the ALJ erred in failing to properly evaluate her
capability of performing her past work.
Plaintiff also argues
that the ALJ did not properly consider the opinion of one of her
treating physicians, Dr. Deehan.
The Court will address these
arguments in turn.
As a primary matter, however, the Court notes that the ALJ
issued a detailed and comprehensive 32-page decision, which was
the capstone of a nine year process in the SSA that began in
June 2006 and entailed many twists and turns.
The ALJ who
issued the SSA’s final decision in March 2015 noted that she was
required by the Appeals Council to do the following:
Upon remand, the Administrative Law Judge will:
Further evaluate the claimant's mental impairments in
accordance with the special technique described in 20 CFR
404.l520a, documenting application of the technique in the
decision by providing specific findings and appropriate
rationale for each of the functional areas described in 20
Give further consideration to the claimant's maximum
residual functional capacity during the entire period at
issue and provide rationale with specific references to
evidence of record in support of assessed limitations
(Social Security Ruling 96- 8p). In so doing, evaluate the
treating and nontreating source opinions pursuant to the
provisions of 20 CFR 404.1527 and Social Security Rulings
96-2p and 96-5p and nonexamining source opinions in
accordance with the provisions of 20 CFR 404.1527 and
Social Security Ruling 96-6p, and explain the weight given
to such opinion evidence. As appropriate, the
Administrative Law Judge may request the treating and
nontreating sources to provide additional evidence and/or
further clarification of the opinions and medical source
statements about what the claimant can still do despite the
impairments (20 CFR 404.1512). The Administrative Law
Judge may enlist the aid and cooperation of the claimant's
representative in developing evidence from the claimant's
Further consider whether the claimant can perform her
past relevant work as a clerical worker as the claimant
actually performed the work and as the job is generally
performed in the national economy in accordance with 20 CFR
404.1565. If warranted, obtain vocational expert testimony.
(R. at 591.)
The ALJ stated, “I believe that I have fully complied with
The Court agrees with the ALJ, despite
Plaintiff’s objections to the contrary.
With regard to the finding that Plaintiff was capable of
performing her past work as an accounting clerk, Plaintiff
argues that the ALJ erred when she (1) did not set forth the
physical and mental demands of Plaintiff’s former job, (2) did
not consider her mental impairments in combination with her
physical limitations, and (3) did not find her disabled based on
None of these arguments is availing.
Plaintiff argues that her testimony regarding her duties in
her prior clerical positions fell into the light exertional work
category, and thus the finding that Plaintiff was capable of
performing her past work does not match the ALJ’s conclusion
that she was capable of her past work at the sedentary level. 3
Even though Plaintiff’s past work included positions at the
light and medium exertional level (R. at 620), the vocational
expert testified that Plaintiff’s work as an accounting clerk,
See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567 (“Physical exertion requirements. To
determine the physical exertion requirements of work in the
national economy, we classify jobs as sedentary, light, medium,
heavy, and very heavy. These terms have the same meaning as they
have in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, published by the
Department of Labor. In making disability determinations under
this subpart, we use the following definitions:
(a) Sedentary work. Sedentary work involves lifting no more
than 10 pounds at a time and occasionally lifting or carrying
articles like docket files, ledgers, and small tools. Although a
sedentary job is defined as one which involves sitting, a
certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary in
carrying out job duties. Jobs are sedentary if walking and
standing are required occasionally and other sedentary criteria
(b) Light work. Light work involves lifting no more than 20
pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects
weighing up to 10 pounds. Even though the weight lifted may be
very little, a job is in this category when it requires a good
deal of walking or standing, or when it involves sitting most of
the time with some pushing and pulling of arm or leg controls.
To be considered capable of performing a full or wide range of
light work, you must have the ability to do substantially all of
these activities. If someone can do light work, we determine
that he or she can also do sedentary work, unless there are
additional limiting factors such as loss of fine dexterity or
inability to sit for long periods of time. . . .”).
as defined by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (“DOT”),
classified as a sedentary level position.
The ALJ explained her
decision as to why Plaintiff remained capable of performing that
type of job between January 2006 and February 2010:
In comparing the claimant's residual functional capacity
with the physical and mental demands of this work, I find
that the claimant was able to perform this job as actually
and generally performed. With the above sedentary RFC
(with only minor non-exertional limitations), the VE
testified that the claimant was able to perform her past
work as an accounting clerk, DOT # 216.482-010, which is
sedentary with a [specific vocational preparation (“SVP”)]
of 5. 4 The VE testified that there are 2,251 accounting
clerk jobs in the region and 147,188 accounting clerk jobs
nationally. The VE stated that this is a stable occupation;
therefore, these job numbers would not be vastly different
for the period in question. Because the VE testimony is
relied upon, the testimony is accepted in accordance with
(R. at 620.)
The ALJ concluded that Plaintiff retained the RFC to
perform sedentary work with certain limitations.
(R. at 602.)
The VE confirmed that Plaintiff’s RFC matched the demands of the
accounting clerk position.
(R. at 620.)
How Plaintiff may
have performed the specific accounting clerk position in the
The DOT lists a specific vocational preparation (SVP) time for
each described occupation. Using the skill level definitions in
20 CFR 404.1568 and 416.968, unskilled work corresponds to an
SVP of 1-2; semi-skilled work corresponds to an SVP of 3-4; and
skilled work corresponds to an SVP of 5-9 in the DOT.
past does not preclude a finding that she was capable of
performing the same type of job in the future with certain
See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1560(b)(2). 5
The ALJ did not
err when she relied upon the VE’s testimony that Plaintiff was
capable of performing her past work as an accounting clerk based
on Plaintiff’s current RFC.
See Vega v. Commissioner of Social
Sec., 358 F. Appx 372, 376 (3d Cir. 2009) (finding the ALJ’s
determination that the claimant was capable of performing her
past work supported by substantial evidence where the ALJ cited
a vocational expert's testimony as to the physical and mental
demands of the claimant’s past work while also considering the
claimant’s testimony as to the demands of her past work).
20 C.F.R. § 404.1560(b)(2) (“Determining whether you can do
your past relevant work. We will ask you for information about
work you have done in the past. We may also ask other people who
know about your work. (See § 404.1565(b).) We may use the
services of vocational experts or vocational specialists, or
other resources, such as the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles”
and its companion volumes and supplements, published by the
Department of Labor, to obtain evidence we need to help us
determine whether you can do your past relevant work, given your
residual functional capacity. A vocational expert or specialist
may offer relevant evidence within his or her expertise or
knowledge concerning the physical and mental demands of a
claimant's past relevant work, either as the claimant actually
performed it or as generally performed in the national economy.
Such evidence may be helpful in supplementing or evaluating the
accuracy of the claimant's description of his past work. . . .
Plaintiff next argues that the job of accounting clerk is
mentally demanding, and the ALJ failed to consider this aspect
of the job in her determination that Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform her past work.
It is unclear how Plaintiff
feels that she could not meet the “mentally demanding” aspects
of an accounting clerk job, but if she is concerned about her
mental health impairments’ effect on her abilities, the ALJ had
previously determined that Plaintiff’s purported mental
impairments were not really impairments at all, since
Plaintiff’s mental exams were all “grossly normal,” and she had
never sought mental health treatment.
(R. at 619.)
Plaintiff is concerned about the intelligence or educational
requirements of an accounting clerk position, the ALJ noted that
Plaintiff only required minimal non-exertional limitations to
her RFC, and with those restrictions, Plaintiff still retained
the capacity to perform the mental demands of a job she
Thus, the ALJ did not err in this regard
as Plaintiff contends.
Plaintiff’s final argument on the ALJ’s finding that
Plaintiff was capable of performing her past work as an
accounting clerk is that a determination that a claimant is only
capable of sedentary work who is approaching advanced age (age
50-54) with a limited education and non-transferability of
skills should be deemed disabled under the Medical-Vocational
Guidelines, or “Grids.”
This premise may be true in certain
circumstances, but it is not mechanically applied, and it is
only where an ALJ has determined that the claimant is not
capable of performing past relevant work.
See 20 C.F.R. Pt.
404, Subpt. P. App. 2, 201.00(g) (“Individuals approaching
advanced age (age 50-54) may be significantly limited in
vocational adaptability if they are restricted to sedentary
When such individuals have no past work experience or can
no longer perform vocationally relevant past work and have no
transferable skills, a finding of disabled ordinarily obtains.
. . .”).
The ALJ therefore did not commit error when she did
not deem Plaintiff to be disabled under the Grids.
The next basis for Plaintiff’s appeal is her contention
that the ALJ did not properly consider the opinions of
Plaintiff’s treating physician, Dr. Deehan, particularly his
findings regarding Plaintiff’s work-preclusive limitations.
This argument is also unpersuasive.
The ALJ painstakingly discussed almost “every tidbit” of
medical evidence regarding Plaintiff’s condition during the
relevant time period, even though an ALJ is not required to.
Fargnoli v. Massanari, 247 F.3d 34, 42 (3d Cir. 2001) (“[W]e do
not expect the ALJ to make reference to every relevant treatment
note in a case where the claimant . . . has voluminous medical
records.”); Hur v. Barnhart, 94 F. App’x 130, 133 (3d Cir. 2004)
(“There is no requirement that the ALJ discuss in its opinion
every tidbit of evidence included in the record.”).
treating physician, Dr. Deehan, was just one provider whose
medical records the ALJ considered.
Even though a treating
physician’s opinions are entitled to “great weight,” an ALJ may
reduce her reliance upon a treating physician’s opinions if it
is inconsistent with other medical evidence, and if she explains
Plummer v. Apfel, 186 F.3d 422, 439 (3d Cir.
1999) (“[A]n ALJ is permitted to accept or reject all or part of
any medical source's opinion, as long as the ALJ supports his
assessment with substantial evidence.”); Cotter v. Harris, 642
F.2d 700, 705 (3d Cir. 1981) (“We are also cognizant that when
the medical testimony or conclusions are conflicting, the ALJ is
not only entitled but required to choose between them. . . .
[W]e need from the ALJ not only an expression of the evidence
s/he considered which supports the result, but also some
indication of the evidence which was rejected.”); Adorno v.
Shalala, 40 F.3d 43, 48 (3d Cir. 1994) (holding that an ALJ “may
properly accept some parts of the medical evidence and reject
other parts, but she must consider all the evidence and give
some reason for discounting the evidence she rejects”).
exactly what the ALJ did here over the span of many pages in her
(R. at 613-619.)
The ALJ gave Dr. Deehan’s opinions controlling weight for a
certain period of treatment in November 2005 through January
2006 (R. at 614), but then did not afford his opinions the same
weight in March 2010, which was the first time Plaintiff had
seen Dr. Deehan since January 2006 (R. at 619).
explained why she afforded controlling weight to Dr. Deehan’s
earlier opinions and little weight to Dr. Deehan’s March 2010
In between the discussion of Dr. Deehan’s treatment
notes, the ALJ reviewed numerous other medical records from
treating and consultative providers, and explained why she did
or did not credit those opinions. (R. at 614-19.)
Plaintiff argues that the ALJ discounted one of Dr.
Deehan’s treatment notes in February 2006 because she could not
decipher the signature, and that particular treatment note
stated that Plaintiff could not stoop, which would support a
finding that Plaintiff could not perform her past relevant work.
However, the ALJ found that all of Dr. Deehan’s opinions were
“not consistent with [SSR regulations] in that they are based on
underlying assumptions or definitions that are inconsistent with
regulatory policies and definitions. . . . In short, Dr.
Deehan’s opinions do not use functional terms and therefore are
not an adequate evaluation of the claimant’s RFC pursuant to
(R. at 614.)
Thus, even if the ALJ
attributed the undecipherable treatment note to Dr. Deehan, it
would have been discounted as to Plaintiff’s residual functional
capacity for the same reasons as his other treatment notes.
Finally, Plaintiff’s argument that Dr. Deehan’s opinions
compelled the finding of disability ignores the ALJ’s assessment
of all the other medical evidence, which supported the contrary
See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(e) (explaining that the
issue of whether a claimant is “disabled” is reserved for the
Commissioner, and a physician's opinion thereon is not entitled
to any special significance).
At the conclusion of providing a
detailed analysis of Plaintiff’s treatment records, the ALJ
“Overall, the record reveals infrequent visits to the
doctor and only conservative treatment for allegedly disabling
symptoms. . . . The record reflects significant gaps in the
claimant’s treatment history.
Finally, the claimant was not
referred for surgery, and the notes suggest that the claimant
did not want to pursue surgery.
From January 20, 2006 to
February 17, 2010, this evidence was inconsistent with disabling
symptoms including chronic pain.”
(R. at 613.)
This summary of the ALJ’s meticulous assessment of all of
the medical evidence, which included Dr. Deehan’s treatment
notes, demonstrates that the ALJ’s ultimate determination that
Plaintiff was not disabled from January 20, 2006 through
February 17, 2010 is supported by substantial evidence.
For the reasons expressed above, the ALJ’s determination
that Plaintiff was not totally disabled as of January 20, 2006
through February 17, 2010 because Plaintiff retained the ability
to perform past relevant work is supported by substantial
The decision of the ALJ is affirmed.
An accompanying Order will be issued.
Date: January 3, 2017
At Camden, New Jersey
s/ Noel L. Hillman
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
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