United States District Court, D. Maryland
December 24, 2015, Plaintiff Kathryn Anne Burton petitioned
this Court to review the Social Security Administration's
final decision to deny her claim for Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”). (ECF No. 1). I have considered
the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, and Ms.
Burton's reply. (ECF Nos. 19, 20, 21). I find that no
hearing is necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md.
2016). This Court must uphold the decision of the Agency if
it is supported by substantial evidence and if the Agency
employed proper legal standards. See 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g), 1383(c)(3); Craig v. Chater, 76
F.3d 585, 589 (4th Cir. 1996). Under that standard, I will
deny Ms. Burton's motion, grant the Commissioner's
motion, and affirm the ALJ's decision. This letter
explains my rationale.
Burton filed her claim for benefits on April 26, 2010,
alleging a disability onset date of January 15, 2010. (Tr.
166-72). Her claim was denied initially and on
reconsideration. (Tr. 88-91, 95-101). A hearing was held on
July 17, 2014, before an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”). (Tr. 30-72). Following the hearing, the
ALJ determined that Ms. Burton was not disabled within the
meaning of the Social Security Act during the relevant time
frame. (Tr. 12-29). The Appeals Council denied Ms.
Burton's request for review. (Tr. 1-6). Thus, the
ALJ's decision constitutes the final, reviewable decision
of the Agency.
found that Ms. Burton suffered from the severe impairments of
bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and social anxiety
disorder. (Tr. 17). Despite these impairments, the ALJ
determined that Ms. Burton retained the residual functional
capacity (“RFC”) to:
perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but
with the following nonexertional limitations:
-She must work in a stable work environment where the work
place and work process remain generally the same from day to
- She cannot travel as part of a job; and,
- A supervisor must direct activities of the employee so that
they do not need to prioritize tasks; and,
- Instructions should be written as well as oral so that the
claimant has something to refer to; and,
- She must perform goal
-oriented work that is not production rate paced; and,
- She can perform no more than occasional decision making
using several concrete variables in or from standardized
- She can have no public contact either face to face or by