CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:07CV161-J.
August 6, 2008
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Lauretta Allen seeks Disability Insurance Benefits which were denied by the Commissioner. This matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge W. David King who recommends that the final decision of the Commissioner be affirmed and the plaintiff's Complaint dismissed.
Plaintiff has timely filed objections to the Magistrate's Report arguing that: 1) the Administrative Law Judge erred in finding her mental condition to be non-severe; and 2) the administrative decision was based on improper vocational evidence. At the heart of this second issue is whether this case was a fourth step denial — and thus the burden of proof is upon the claimant, or a fifth step denial — where the burden of proof shifts to the Commissioner. The Court finds, consistent with the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, that this was a fourth step denial. Additionally, upon this Court's review of the medical evidence in its entirety, the ALJ had a substantial basis for concluding that the claimant failed to establish a "severe" mental impairment during the pertinent disability period between January 19 and June 30, 2003.
In summary, this Court has conducted a de novo review of the entire record and finds that the analyses and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge mirror those of the undersigned. The Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation in lieu of writing a separate opinion.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED:
1) The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED, and those findings and conclusions are incorporated by reference herein;
2) The final Decision of the Commissioner denying benefits is AFFIRMED; and
3) Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED, with prejudice.
This is a final and appealable Memorandum Opinion and Order, and there is no just cause for delay.