Dunfee v. Social Security Administration
MEMORANDUM signed by District Judge Aleta A. Trauger on 7/31/2017. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(ab)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
NICOLE LYNN DUNFEE,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security,
Pending before the court is Plaintiff Nicole Lynn Dunfee’s Motion for Judgment on the
Administrative Record (“Motion”) (Docket No. 14), filed with a Memorandum in Support
(Docket No. 15).
Defendant Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) filed a
Response in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion. (Docket No. 16.) The court hereby withdraws the
reference to the Magistrate Judge. Upon consideration of the parties’ filings and the transcript of
the administrative record (Docket No. 12), 2 and for the reasons set out herein, the Plaintiff’s
Motion (Docket No. 14) will be denied.
Dunfee filed an application for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the
Social Security Act and an application for supplemental security income (“SSI”) under Title XVI
on January 11, 2011, both alleging a disability onset of May 15, 2008. (Tr. 12.) Dunfee’s claim
was denied at the initial and reconsideration stages of state agency review. Dunfee subsequently
Nancy Berryhill became Acting Commissioner for the Social Security Administration on January 23, 2017.
Referenced hereinafter by page number(s) following the abbreviation “Tr.”
requested de novo review of her case by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”).
appeared and testified at a hearing held on October 1, 2012. (Tr. 50–60.) A subsequent hearing
was held on January 28, 2013. (Tr. 25–49.) Testimony was also received from a vocational
expert during this subsequent hearing. (Tr. 43–48.) Dunfee was represented by counsel at the
second hearing. At the conclusion of the second hearing, the matter was taken under advisement
until March 4, 2013, when the ALJ issued a written decision finding Dunfee not disabled. (Tr.
9–24.) That decision contains the following enumerated findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through
December 31, 2013.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since May 15, 2008, the
alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant had the following severe impairments: sleep apnea, obesity, and
degenerative changes of the cervical spine (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets
or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part
404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d),
416.925 and 416.926).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, … the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except that she can never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She can
occasionally climb ramps and stairs, stoop (bend at waist), kneel, crouch, and crawl.
She can never work in proximity to moving, mechanical parts; work in high, exposed
places; or operate motor vehicles.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a ward clerk. This work
does not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the
claimant’s residual functional capacity. (20 C.F.R. 404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act,
from May 15, 2008, through the date of this decision (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(f) and
(Tr. 14–15, 17, 19.)
On June 25, 2014, the Appeals Council denied Dunfee’s request for review of the ALJ’s
decision (Tr. 1–6), thereby rendering that decision the final decision of the SSA. This civil
action was thereafter timely filed, and the court has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Review of the Record
The following summary of the medical record is taken from the ALJ’s decision:
[T]he claimant underwent a sleep study in January 2008, wherein
she was diagnosed with sleep apnea (Exhibit 1F).
On December 18, 2012, Matthew King, M.D., completed a
Lumbar Spine Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire. Dr.
King reported that the claimant’s first visit to him was on
November 29, 2011, and the claimant’s last visit with him was
January 12, 2012. He reported that Ms. Dunfee’s diagnoses are:
Back pain due to degenerative disks [sic], Paroxysmal leg
movement syndrome, and mild sleep apnea. Her prognosis is fair.
He indicated that these diagnoses are supported by MRI of the
lumbar spine obtained December 8, 2011, and sleep study
performed on December 13, 2011. He reported that the claimant’s
symptoms include back pain, muscle aches, and insomnia. He also
indicated that he has not evaluated the claimant in the last 6
months. … He reported that the claimant’s experience of pain or
other symptoms is occasionally severe enough to interfere with
attention and concentration. Dr. King reported that he has written
no prescriptions for the claimant since January 2012. He indicated
that her impairments have lasted or can be expected to last at least
12 months. Ms. Dunfee can walk 5 city blocks without rest or
severe pain. She can sit more than 2 hours at one time, and stand 2
hours at one time. She can sit a total of about 4 hours in an 8-hour
workday and stand/walk less than 2 hours in an 8-hour workday.
Ms. Dunfee must walk around every 90 minutes for a period of 5
minutes each time. She does not require a sit/stand option. She
does not need to take unscheduled breaks during an 8-hour
workday. Her legs do not need to be elevated. She does not
require the use of an assistive device for ambulation. She can
frequently lift and carry 10 pounds and rarely lift and carry 20
pounds. She can never climb ladders; rarely climb stairs; and
occasionally twist, stoop (bend), and crouch/squat. She does not
have significant limitations with reaching, handling, or fingering.
Dr. King reported that the earliest date that this description of
symptoms and limitations in this questionnaire applies is
November 29, 2011.
Ms. Dunfee underwent a consultative examination by Donita
Keown, M.D., on March 21, 2011. At that time, the claimant had a
measured height of 66 inches and a weight of 199 pounds. Blood
pressure 124/74, pulse rate 72, and respirations 16. Heart had
regular rhythm, regular rate. Normal S1 and S2. There was no S3
or S4. No lateral displacement of PMI. No murmurs, rubs, or
gallops. Pulses were +2 in all four limbs. No peripheral edema,
cyanosis, or clubbing. Lungs were clear to auscultation bilaterally.
There were no wheezes, rales, or rhonchi. No increased [sic] of
AP diameter or use of accessory muscles to respire. After
examination, Dr. Keown reported, “In general, this is a heavyset
white female who looks to be stated years who was groomed
casually, demonstrates normal hearing, speech, and cognition. The
claimant ambulates with ease. She has no problems getting up
from the chair. Performs unremarkable straightaway walk, tandem
step, one-footed stand, and Romberg test.” (Exhibit 6F).
The claimant has received emergency room treatment from
Cookeville Regional Medical Center on December 30, 2012, due
to neck pain. These records show she has received the diagnoses
of neck pain, shoulder pain, acute neck pain, and cervical
spondylolysis. CT of the cervical spine obtained that date was
negative for fracture or traumatic malalignment. There was
multilevel cervical spondylosis, most pronounced at the C5/C6 and
C6/C7 levels. X-ray of the left shoulder was negative. Chest
radiograph showed no acute cardiopulmonary process. X-ray of
the left humerus was normal (Exhibit 16F).
On April 12, 2011, State Agency designated physician, Denise P.
Bell, M.D., completed a Physical Residual Functional Capacity
Assessment. She opined that the claimant has no exertional
limitations. She also opined that the claimant has no postural,
manipulative, visual, or exertional limitations.
limitations Dr. Bell found the claimant to have is that she must
avoid all exposure to hazards (machinery, heights, etc.).
On June 21, 2011, State Agency designated physician, Robert H.
Heilpern, M.D., opined that the claimant had no severe physical
impairments, either singly or combined, as that term is defined in
the Social Security Act and Regulations.
Conclusions of Law
A. Standard of Review
Judicial review of “any final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security made after
a hearing” is authorized under section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, which empowers the
district court “to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of the record, a judgment affirming,
modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without
remanding the cause for a rehearing.” 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). This court reviews the final decision
of the SSA to determine whether substantial evidence supports that agency’s findings and
whether it applied the correct legal standards. Miller v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 811 F.3d 825, 833
(6th Cir. 2016). Substantial evidence means “‘more than a mere scintilla’ but less than a
preponderance; substantial evidence is such ‘relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.’” Id. (quoting Buxton v. Halter, 246 F.3d 762, 772
(6th Cir. 2001)). In determining whether substantial evidence supports the agency’s findings, a
court must examine the record as a whole, “tak[ing] into account whatever in the record fairly
detracts from its weight.” Brooks v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 531 F. App’x 636, 641 (6th Cir. 2013)
(quoting Garner v. Heckler, 745 F.2d 383, 388 (6th Cir. 1984)). The agency’s decision must
stand if substantial evidence supports it, even if the record contains evidence supporting the
opposite conclusion. See Hernandez v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 644 F. App’x 468, 473 (6th Cir.
2016) (citing Key v. Callahan, 109 F.3d 270, 273 (6th Cir. 1997)).
Accordingly, this court may not “try the case de novo, resolve conflicts in evidence, or
decide questions of credibility.” Ulman v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 693 F.3d 709, 713 (6th Cir.
2012) (quoting Bass v. McMahon, 499 F.3d 506, 509 (6th Cir. 2007)). Where, however, an ALJ
fails to follow agency rules and regulations, the decision lacks the support of substantial
evidence, “even where the conclusion of the ALJ may be justified based upon the record.”
Miller, 811 F.3d at 833 (quoting Gentry v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 741 F.3d 708, 722 (6th Cir.
B. The Five-Step Inquiry
The claimant bears the ultimate burden of establishing entitlement to benefits by proving
his or her “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.” 42
U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). The claimant’s “physical or mental impairment” must “result from
anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which are demonstrable by medically
acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.” Id. § 423(d)(3). The agency considers
a claimant’s case under a five-step sequential evaluation process, described by the Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals as follows:
1. A claimant who is engaging in substantial gainful activity will not be found to be
disabled regardless of medical findings.
2. A claimant who does not have a severe impairment will not be found to be disabled.
3. A finding of disability will be made without consideration of vocational factors, if a
claimant is not working and is suffering from a severe impairment which meets the
duration requirement and which meets or equals a listed impairment in Appendix 1 to
Subpart B of the Regulations. Claimants with lesser impairments proceed to step
4. A claimant who can perform work that he has done in the past will not be found to be
5. If a claimant cannot perform his past work, other factors including age, education,
past work experience and residual functional capacity must be considered to
determine if other work can be performed.
Parks v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 413 F. App’x 856, 862 (6th Cir. 2011) (citing Cruse v. Comm’r of
Soc. Sec., 502 F.3d 532, 539 (6th Cir. 2007)); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920. The claimant
bears the burden through step four of proving the existence and severity of the limitations her
impairments cause and the fact that she cannot perform past relevant work; however, at step five,
“the burden shifts to the Commissioner to ‘identify a significant number of jobs in the economy
that accommodate the claimant’s residual functioning capacity[.]” Kepke v. Comm’r of Soc.
Sec., 636 F. App’x 625, 628 (6th Cir. 2016) (quoting Warner v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 375 F.3d
387, 390 (6th Cir. 2004)).
The agency can carry its burden at the fifth step of the evaluation process by relying on
the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, otherwise known as “the grids,” but only if a nonexertional
impairment does not significantly limit the claimant, and then only when the claimant’s
characteristics precisely match the characteristics of the applicable grid rule. See Anderson v.
Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 406 F. App’x 32, 35 (6th Cir. 2010); Wright v. Massanari, 321 F.3d 611,
615–16 (6th Cir. 2003).
Otherwise, the grids only function as a guide to the disability
determination. Wright, 321 F.3d at 615–16; see Moon v. Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1175, 1181 (6th Cir.
1990). Where the grids do not direct a conclusion as to the claimant’s disability, the agency
must rebut the claimant’s prima facie case by coming forward with proof of the claimant’s
individual vocational qualifications to perform specific jobs, typically through vocational expert
testimony. Anderson, 406 F. App’x at 35; see Wright, 321 F.3d at 616 (quoting SSR 83-12, 1983
WL 31253, *4 (Jan. 1, 1983)).
When determining a claimant’s residual functional capacity (“RFC”) at steps four and
five, the agency must consider the combined effect of all the claimant’s impairments, mental and
physical, exertional and nonexertional, severe and nonsevere. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(2)(B),
(5)(B); Glenn v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 763 F.3d 494, 499 (6th Cir. 2014) (citing 20 C.F.R.
C. Plaintiff’s Statement of Errors
1. Treating Physician
Dunfee first argues that the ALJ erred by improperly weighing the opinion of her treating
physician, Dr. King. (Docket No. 15, pp. 6–9.) An ALJ must give a treating source’s opinion
controlling weight “if he finds the opinion ‘well supported by medically acceptable clinical and
laboratory diagnostic techniques’ and ‘not inconsistent with the other substantial evidence in the
case record.’” Wilson v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541, 544 (6th Cir. 2004) (quoting 20
C.F.R. § 404.1527(c)(2)). The ALJ “is not bound by a treating source’s opinions, especially
when there is substantial medical evidence to the contrary.” Cutlip v. Sec’y of Health & Human
Servs., 25 F.3d 284, 287 (6th Cir. 1994) (citations omitted). That said, the ALJ is required to
provide “good reasons” for discounting the weight given to a treating source’s opinion.
Gayheart v. Commissioner of Social Security, 710 F.3d 365, 376 (6th Cir. 2013) (citing 20
C.F.R. § 404.1527(c)(2)). These reasons must be “supported by the evidence in the case record,
and must be sufficiently specific to make clear to any subsequent reviewers the weight the
adjudicator gave to the treating source’s medical opinion and the reasons for that weight.”
Gayheart, 710 F.3d at 376 (quoting SSR 96-2p).
The court finds that in the present case, the ALJ provided sufficient good reasons for
discounting the opinion of Dr. King. The ALJ noted that Dr. King only saw Dunfee two to three
times and that his Medical Source Statement was given more than six months after his last
examination of her. (Tr. 16.) Indeed, Dr. King could not even “[c]haracterize the nature,
location, radiation, frequency, precipitating factors, and severity” of Dunfee’s pain because, as
he stated, he had not evaluated her in the last six months. (Tr. 377.) The nature and extent of a
treating relationship is relevant to the weight given to a physician’s opinion and a treating source
that sees a claimant with infrequent consistency is generally entitled to less weight. 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1527, 416.927; Rudd v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 531 F. App’x 719, 729 (6th Cir. 2013).
Furthermore, the ALJ found that Dr. King’s opinion was “not consistent with itself and
with other objective evidence of record.” (Tr. 16.) For example, Dr. King’s own, limited
records indicate he found that Dunfee’s only positive objective sign of pain was impaired sleep.
(Tr. 377.) Additionally, Dr. King prescribed Dunfee no medications since January 2012 and
described her prognosis as “fair.” (Tr. 377, 378.) This contradicts many of the limitations he
recommends. It also contradicts Dr. Keown’s examination findings, which were unremarkable.
(Tr. 334.) The Sixth Circuit has repeatedly held that the opinions of treating physicians are not
entitled to receive great weight if they are not supported by sufficient clinical findings or
consistent with the evidence. See Combs v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 459 F.3d 640, 652 (6th Cir.
2006) (quoting Bogle v. Sullivan, 998 F.2d 342, 347–48 (6th Cir. 1993)).
Finally, Dunfee’s argument fails to acknowledge that the ALJ did in fact give a degree of
weight to Dr. King’s opinion; he simply did not accord it great weight. (Tr. 16.) In fact, the ALJ
incorporated several of Dr. King’s recommended limitations into Dunfee’s RFC, such as her
ability to occasionally lift and carry ten pounds, inability to ever climb ladders, and ability to
occasionally stoop and crouch. (Tr. 15, 379.) See Warner v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 375 F.3d 387,
391–92 (6th Cir. 2004) (“[W]e find it significant that the administrative law judge did not reject
wholesale the conclusions of Dr. Sonke and indeed incorporated [some of] Dr. Sonke’s
conclusions[.]”). The court therefore finds that the ALJ adequately explained his decision to
partially discredit Dr. King’s opinion, and the decision is supported by substantial evidence.
Dunfee’s first statement of error is thus meritless.
2. RFC Supportability
Dunfee next argues that the ALJ’s RFC determination is not supported by substantial
evidence because “[t]here is absolutely no source in the record that attests that [she] can do light
work.” (Docket No. 15, p. 10.) “The ALJ is charged with the responsibility of determining the
RFC based on her [or his] evaluation of the medical and non-medical evidence.” Rudd v.
Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 531 F. App’x 719, 728 (6th Cir. 2013). According to SSR 96-5p, the
Commissioner has final responsibility for deciding an individual’s RFC, and to require the ALJ
to base his or her RFC finding on a physician’s opinion “would, in effect, confer upon the
treating source the authority to make the determination or decision about whether an individual is
under a disability, and thus would be an abdication of the Commissioner’s statutory
responsibility to determine whether an individual is disabled.”
Dunfee’s argument is thus
Dunfee also contends that the ALJ was not qualified to interpret her radiology test results.
Again, however, the ALJ is required to evaluate the medical evidence to determine whether a
claimant is disabled. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1545(a)(3), 416.945(a)(3); Webb v. Comm’r of Soc.
Sec., 368 F.3d 629, 633 (6th Cir. 2004) (stating that “the ALJ is charged with the responsibility
of evaluating the medical evidence”); Coldiron v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 391 F. App’x 435, 439
(6th Cir. 2010) (“The Social Security Act instructs that the ALJ not a physician ultimately
determines a claimant’s RFC. ... An ALJ does not improperly assume the role of a medical
expert by weighing the medical and non-medical evidence before rendering an RFC finding.”).
The ALJ in the present case did not interpret raw medical data. In summarizing the radiology
report, CT scan, and x-ray performed on December 30, 2012, he stated:
CT of the cervical spine obtained that date was negative for
fracture or traumatic malalignment. There was multilevel cervical
spondylosis, most pronounced at the C5/C6 and C6/C7 levels. Xray of the left shoulder was negative. Chest radiograph showed no
acute cardiopulmonary process. X-ray of the left humerus was
(Tr. 17.) The ALJ’s summary directly quoted the findings and impressions made by the reading
physician (Tr. 17, 395, 397, 398, 399), and Dunfee offers no example or evidence of the ALJ
independently interpreting any of the medical data. The ALJ’s conclusions were thus consistent
with the physician’s interpretation of the tests. The court finds Dunfee’s second argument is
Lastly, Dunfee claims that the ALJ erred in evaluating the credibility of her subjective
complaints of pain. 3 (Docket No. 15, pp. 11–12.) Although an ALJ may consider subjective
complaints as evidence in support of a disability, “an ALJ is not required to accept a claimant’s
subjective complaints and may properly consider the credibility of a claimant when making a
determination of disability.” Jones v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 336 F.3d 469, 475–76 (6th Cir.
2003). Application of the regulations to claims of pain requires a two-step approach. First,
medical signs or laboratory findings must show that the claimant suffers from medically
Dunfee raises her argument under Duncan v. Sect’y of Health & Human Servs., 801 F.2d 847, 852 (6th Cir. 1986),
and the Commissioner’s argument in response relies primarily on the regulations (Docket No. 16, pp. 10–13). To be
clear, the Sixth Circuit has held on multiple occasions that subjective claims of pain may be analyzed under the
Duncan test or by the standards in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1529 and 416.929. Pasco v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 137 F. App’x
828, 835 (6th Cir. 2005); Baranich v. Barnhart, 128 F. App’x 481, 487 (6th Cir. 2005); McCoy on Behalf of McCoy
v. Chater, 81 F.3d 44, 47 (6th Cir. 1995).
determinable impairments which could reasonably be expected to result in the alleged symptoms.
20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1529(b) and 416.929(b). Once that is established, the intensity and persistence
of these symptoms is evaluated to determine what functional limitations, if any, they place on the
claimant. Id. §§ 404.1529(c)(1) and 416.929(c)(1). All relevant evidence must be considered.
Id. §§ 404.1529(c) and 416.929(c). The following factors may be considered: the claimant’s
daily activities; the location, duration, frequency, and intensity of the claimant’s pain;
precipitating and aggravating factors; the effectiveness of medication or other treatment; other
measures to relieve the pain; and any other relevant factors.
Id. §§ 404.1529(c)(3) and
416.929(c)(3); see also SSR 96-7p.
Where an ALJ’s credibility assessment is fully explained and not at odds with
uncontradicted evidence in the record, it is entitled to great weight. See King v. Heckler, 742
F.2d 968, 974–75 (6th Cir. 1984) (noting the rule that an ALJ’s credibility assessment is entitled
to “great weight,” but “declin[ing] to give substantial deference to the ALJ’s unexplained
credibility finding” and holding it was error to reject uncontradicted medical evidence); see also
White v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 572 F.3d 272, 287 (6th Cir. 2009) (holding that ALJ was entitled
to “rely on her own reasonable assessment of the record over the claimant’s personal
testimony”); Barker v. Shalala, 40 F.3d 789, 795 (6th Cir. 1994) (holding that ALJ’s credibility
assessment is entitled to substantial deference). Substantial deference has been held to mean that
“an [ALJ’s] credibility findings are virtually ‘unchallengable.’” Ritchie v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec.,
540 F. App’x 508, 511 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting Payne v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 402 F. App’x 109,
113 (6th Cir. 2010)). Nevertheless, “an ALJ’s assessment of a claimant’s credibility must be
supported by substantial evidence.” Calvin v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 437 F. App’x 370, 371 (6th
Cir. 2011) (citation omitted).
Here, the ALJ found that Dunfee suffered from medically determinable impairments that
could reasonably be expected to cause some of the alleged symptoms. (Tr. 14.) Dunfee, thus,
satisfied the first step; yet she fails the second because the ALJ properly considered the
regulatory factors, and substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s credibility findings. For instance,
the ALJ noted that Dunfee’s treating physician, Dr. King, only saw Dunfee two to three times,
had written no prescriptions for her since January of 2012, could not characterize any
information whatsoever related to her pain, since he had not evaluated her in six months, and
stated that her prognosis is fair. (Tr. 16, 377.) The ALJ further noted that, on March 21, 2011,
Dr. Keown performed a consultative examination of Dunfee and found that she ambulated with
ease, had no problems getting up from the chair, had no cyanosis, clubbing, or edema, and she
performed unremarkable straightaway walk, tandem step, one-foot stand, and Romberg test. (Tr.
16–17, 334.) Additionally, as discussed above and as recited by the ALJ, the objective medical
evidence showed only mild findings. (Tr. 17, 393–99.) It is also worth mentioning that, while
one state agency physician opined that Dunfee had no exertional limitations and another opined
that she had no severe physical impairments, in both instances the ALJ gave Dunfee the greater
benefit of the doubt. (Tr. 17.) Dunfee’s other contention, that the ALJ failed to make a specific
finding concerning her allegations, is belied by the fact that the ALJ stated that “claimant’s
statements … [were] not entirely credible[.]” (Tr. 16.) Therefore, given the highly deferential
standard of review and the substantial evidence that supports the ALJ’s assessment, the court
finds that the ALJ did not err in his credibility determination.
For the reasons stated herein, Plaintiff’s Motion for Judgment on the Record (Docket No.
14) will be denied and an appropriate Order entered.
ENTER this 31st day of July 2017.
ALETA A. TRAUGER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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