Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nielsen v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

December 21, 2018

JOAN M. NIELSEN, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          Frederick Michael Friedman, Esq. 821 Terwood Road P.O. Box 467 Drexel Hill, PA 19026 Attorney for Plaintiff

          Heather Anne Benderson Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Social Security Administration Office of the General Counsel 300 Spring Garden Street Philadelphia, PA 19101 Attorney for Defendant Commissioner of Social Security

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE U.S. District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before this Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for review of the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (hereinafter “the Commissioner”) denying the application of Plaintiff Joan M. Nielsen (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) for disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401, et seq., and for Supplemental Security Income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq. Plaintiff, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, depression, tachycardia, headaches, high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteopenia, degenerative disc and joint disease of the lumbar and cervical spine, fibromyalgia, melanoma, and carpal tunnel syndrome was denied benefits for the period beginning on July 7, 2010, the alleged onset date of disability, to December 10, 2015, the date on which Administrative Law Judge Michael A. Rodriguez (hereinafter “ALJ Rodriguez” or “the ALJ”) issued a thorough written decision.

         In the pending appeal, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ's decision must be reversed and remanded on numerous grounds, including that the ALJ erred by: misstating or mischaracterizing the evidence; failing to give proper consideration to the opinions of treating physicians and giving too much weight to the opinion of the consultative examiner; and failing to give proper weight to Plaintiff's subjective complaints of pain and limitations.[1] Defendant Commissioner of Social Security (hereinafter “Defendant”) opposes Plaintiff's appeal. (See Def.'s Opp'n [Docket Item 17].) For the reasons stated below, the Court will affirm the ALJ's decision.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed her applications for Social Security disability benefits and supplementary security income on November 28, 2014, alleging an onset date of July 7, 2010. (Administrative Record (hereinafter “R.”) [Docket Item 5], 29.) Plaintiff's claim was denied by the Social Security Administration on May 29, 2013. (Id.) Her claim was again denied upon reconsideration on October 3, 2013. (Id.) Plaintiff next testified before ALJ Rodriguez by way of a video hearing on October 8, 2015. (Id.) ALJ Rodriguez issued his opinion on December 10, 2015, denying Plaintiff benefits. (Id. at 29, 37-38.) On April 21, 2017, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (Id. at 1-3.) This appeal timely follows.

         B. Medical History & ALJ Decision

         Plaintiff has a history of neck and back pain stretching at least as far back as a motor vehicle accident in 2005. (Id. at 31.) Beginning in 2010, medical imaging revealed degeneration in her lumbar spine and her right wrist, as well as bulging and herniation in certain spinal discs. (Id. 31-32.) Plaintiff has a history of kidney stones, sometimes resulting in hospitalizations. (Id. at 32.) Plaintiff has also been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, tachycardia, lower back pain, anxiety, and melanoma. (Id.) Plaintiff has been diagnosed with depressive disorder and anxiety disorder. (Id.) Plaintiff has further undergone surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. (Id.)

         In a written decision dated December 10, 2015, ALJ Rodriguez determined that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act at any time from July 7, 2010, the alleged disability onset date, through December 10, 2015, the date of the ALJ's decision. (Id. at 29, 37-38.)

         Using the five-step sequential evaluation process, the ALJ determined at step one that Plaintiff had not engaged in any substantial gainful activity since July 7, 2010, the alleged onset date of disability. (Id. at 31.)

         At step two, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had severe impairments due to rheumatoid arthritis, depression, tachycardia, headaches, high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteopenia, degenerative disc and joint disease of the lumbar and cervical spine, and fibromyalgia. (Id. at 31-32.) Notably, the ALJ ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.