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Orazio v. Colvin

United States District Court, D. Maryland

September 11, 2014

CINDY ORAZIO, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.[1]

MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

THOMAS M. DiGIROLAMO, Magistrate Judge.

Cindy Orazio ("Plaintiff") seeks judicial review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Defendant" or the "Commissioner") denying her application for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act. Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 10) and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 12).[2] Plaintiff contends that the administrative record does not contain substantial evidence to support the Commissioner's decision that she is not disabled. No hearing is necessary. L.R. 105.6. For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 12) is GRANTED, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 10) is DENIED, and the Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED.

I

Background

Plaintiff was born in 1958, has a ninth-grade education, and previously worked as a house cleaner. R. at 18, 31. Plaintiff applied for DIB on October 19, 2009, alleging disability beginning on October 1, 2008, due to Lyme disease. R. at 86-88, 108. The Commissioner denied Plaintiff's application initially and again on reconsideration; consequently, Plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). R. at 41-51, 54-55. On August 18, 2011, ALJ Eugene Bond held a hearing in Washington, D.C., at which Plaintiff and a vocational expert ("VE") testified. R. at 16, 28-40. On August 26, 2011, the ALJ issued a decision finding Plaintiff not disabled from the alleged onset date of disability of October 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008, incorrectly stated as the "date last insured." R. at 13-27. Plaintiff sought review of this decision by the Appeals Council, which denied Plaintiff's request for review on December 13, 2012. R. at 1-4, 12. The ALJ's decision thus became the final decision of the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.981; see also Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 106-07, 120 S.Ct. 2080, 2083 (2000).

On February 14, 2013, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court seeking review of the Commissioner's decision. Upon the parties' consent, this case was transferred to a United States Magistrate Judge for final disposition and entry of judgment. The case subsequently was reassigned to the undersigned. The parties have briefed the issues, and the matter is now fully submitted.

II

Summary of Evidence

A. Plaintiff's Testimony

In his decision, the ALJ reviewed Plaintiff's testimony:

At the hearing, [Plaintiff] testified that she is able to work and currently, she is working, on a constant and consistent basis, as [a] house cleaner. [Plaintiff] earns $50.00 per hour working as a house cleaner. [Plaintiff] stated that she had continued to work as a house cleaner.
....
[Plaintiff] stated that her impairments - arthritis [sic] have caused her to have pain and decreased mental capacities, resulting in her inability ...

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