United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Matthew Charles Boyde (“Mr. Boyde” or
“Claimant”) brings this action pursuant to
section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), challenging the final decision of the Commissioner of
the Social Security Administration (the
“Commissioner”) denying his claim for Social
Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits.
Currently pending are Claimant's motion to reverse the
Commissioner's decision denying his disability benefits
[ECF No. 13], and the Commissioner's cross-motion for an
order affirming the decision. [ECF No. 15]. For the reasons
described herein, the Court finds that the Administrative Law
Judge's (“ALJ”) decision was supported by
substantial evidence and therefore DENIES
Claimant's motion to reverse and remand and
ALLOWS the Commissioner's motion to affirm.
Statutory and Regulatory Framework: Five-Step Process to
Evaluate Disability Claims
Social Security Administration is the federal agency charged
with administering both the Social Security disability
benefits program, which provides disability insurance for
covered workers, and the Supplemental Security Income
program, which provides assistance for the indigent aged and
disabled.” Seavey v. Barnhart, 276 F.3d 1, 5
(1st Cir. 2001) (citing 42 U.S.C. §§ 423, 1381a).
Social Security Act (the “Act”) provides that an
individual shall be considered to be “disabled”
if he or she is:
unable 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 that
has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period
of not less than twelve months.
42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(A); see also 42 U.S.C.
§ 423(d)(1)(A). The disability must be severe, such that
the claimant is unable to do his or her previous work or any
other substantial gainful activity that exists in the
national economy. See 42 U.S.C. §
1382c(a)(3)(B); 20 C.F.R. § 416.905.
evaluating a disability claim under the Act, the Commissioner
uses a five-step process, which the First Circuit has
explained as follows:
All five steps are not applied to every applicant, as the
determination may be concluded at any step along the process.
The steps are: 1) if the applicant is engaged in substantial
gainful work activity, the application is denied; 2) if the
applicant does not have, or has not had within the relevant
time period, a severe impairment or combination of
impairments, the application is denied; 3) if the impairment
meets the conditions for one of the “listed”
impairments in the Social Security regulations, then the
application is granted; 4) if the applicant's
“residual functional capacity” is such that he or
she can still perform past relevant work, then the
application is denied; 5) if the applicant, given his or her
residual functional capacity, education, work experience, and
age, is unable to do any other work, the application is
Seavey, 276 F.3d at 5 (citing 20 C.F.R. §
filed his applications for SSDI and SSI benefits on July 24,
2014. [R. 20, 210-26]. He alleged that he became disabled on
December 31, 2012, due to arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome,
post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) with
hypervigilance and anxiety disorder, and dyslexia. [R. 210,
217, 258]. His date last insured was September 30, 2015. [R.
Social Security Administration (the “SSA”) denied
Claimant's applications for SSI and SSDI benefits on
September 25, 2014 [R. 134-39], and again upon
reconsideration on December 3, 2014. [R. 142-47]. Thereafter,
Claimant requested an administrative hearing [R. 148], and a
hearing took place before ALJ Daniel J. Driscoll on January
14, 2016. [R. 39]. Claimant, who was represented by counsel,
appeared and testified at the hearing. Id On
February 24, 2016, the ALJ issued a decision finding that
Claimant was not disabled. [R. 33]. The SSA Appeals Council
denied Claimant's Request for Review on May 15, 2017. [R.
1-6]. On July 18, 2017, Claimant filed a timely complaint
with this Court, seeking review of the Commissioner's
decision pursuant to section 205(g) of the Act. [ECF No. 1].
was born in September 1983 and was 29 years old on the
alleged onset date. [R. 210, 217]. He lives in Plymouth,
Massachusetts with his wife and two children. [R. 44-45].
Claimant attended school through the ninth grade and has
previously worked as a cashier, food preparer and dishwasher,
landscape and gas station attendant. [R. 46-58, 259].