United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION ADOPTING REPORT &
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, United States District Judge
Geraldine Campfield applied to the Commissioner of Social
Security (“Commissioner” or
“Defendant”) for disability benefits and
supplemental security income benefits in 2012, claiming that
she was disabled due to neck and back problems, as well as
stiffness in her left hand. (AR, ECF No. 5-3, at
In May of 2014, an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) held a hearing on Campfield's
application, and ultimately determined that she is not
disabled under the Social Security Act. Proceeding pro se,
Campfield has filed the instant lawsuit, requesting that this
Court reverse the ALJ's denial decision and grant her
benefits. (See generally Compl., ECF No. 1.)
September 17, 2015, this Court referred this matter to a
Magistrate Judge for full case management. (See Min.
Order of Sept. 17, 2015.) Five months later, Campfield filed
a letter with enclosures in which she asked the Court
“to go over my Medical Records, for the year of 2015;
in hopes of ruling in my favor in reference to my current
civil case.” (Letter from Geraldine Campfield, ECF No.
8, at 1; see also Id. at 2-50 (attaching additional
records regarding her medical condition).) Magistrate Judge
G. Michael Harvey construed Campfield's letter as a
motion for judgment of reversal or for remand (see
Min. Order of Feb. 4, 2016; Letter from Geraldine Campfield,
ECF No. 9, at 1), and on March, 11, 2016, Defendant filed a
motion for affirmance of the ALJ's decision, arguing
“that substantial evidence of record supports the
conclusion that Plaintiff was not disabled during the
relevant period” (Def.'s Mem. in Supp. of Her Mot.
for J. of Affirmance & in Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for
J. of Reversal, ECF No. 10, at 12).
this Court at present is the comprehensive Report and
Recommendation that Magistrate Judge Harvey has filed
regarding Campfield's motion for reversal and
Defendant's motion for affirmance. (See R. &
R., ECF No. 15.) The Report and Recommendation reflects
Magistrate Judge Harvey's opinion that Campfield's
motion for reversal should be denied, and that
Defendant's motion for affirmance should be granted.
(See Id. at 1-2, 42.) Specifically, Magistrate Judge
Harvey finds that substantial evidence supports the ALJ's
decision that Campfield was not disabled (see Id. at
25-36), and that the additional evidence that Campfield
submitted in the instant proceeding would not have changed
the outcome of the underlying action (see Id. at 36-
42.) The Report and Recommendation also advises the parties
that the “failure to timely file objections to the
findings and recommendations set forth in this report may
waive the right of appeal from an order of the District Court
adopting such findings and recommendations.”
(Id. 42-43 (citing Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S.
140, 154 (1985)).)
this Court's local rules, any party who objects to a
Report and Recommendation must file a written objection with
the Clerk of the Court within 14 days of the party's
receipt of the Report and Recommendation, and any such
written objection must specify the portions of the findings
and recommendations to which each objection is made and the
basis for each such objection. See LCvR 73.2(b). On
October 19, 2016-well outside of the 14-day window-Campfield
filed with the Court a document entitled, “Notice of
Material Facts . . . Left Out of My Social Security Claim[,
]” to which she attaches a one-page medical record from
2015, and 17 pages of medical records from 2016. (ECF No. 16,
at 1; see also Id. at 2-19.) In addition to being
untimely, this filing is not a proper objection to the Report
and Recommendation, even under the “less stringent
standards” to which federal courts hold pro se
litigants, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972), because it fails to specify either the portion of the
findings and recommendations to which Plaintiff objects or
the underlying basis for any such objection. Thus, as of the
date of the instant Memorandum Opinion (more than five months
after the Report and Recommendation was issued) no proper
objections have been filed.
Court has reviewed Magistrate Judge Harvey's Report and
Recommendation and agrees with its careful and thorough
analysis and conclusions. In particular, the Court agrees
with the Magistrate Judge that substantial evidence supports
the ALJ's determinations that none of Campfield's
impairments satisfy the requirements of the relevant Social
Security regulatory listings (see R. & R. at
25-28); that Campfield's residual functioning capacity
permits her to perform light work (see Id. at
28-33); that Campfield could return to her past work as a
mail clerk (see Id. at 34); and that Campfield could
adjust to other work available in the national economy
(see Id. at 34- 36). As a result, this Court concurs
with Magistrate Judge Harvey's conclusion that Campfield
has “failed to successfully demonstrate that any part
of the decision of the administrative law judge . . . was
erroneous.” (Id. at 1.)
additional medical documentation that Campfield recently
submitted does not provide any basis for rejecting Magistrate
Judge Harvey's considered opinion, or for remanding this
action to the Commissioner, for at least two reasons. First,
to the extent that some of the records appear to document
Campfield's clinical depression, that medical
condition was not mentioned in Campfield's benefits
application, and Magistrate Judge Harvey was correct to
observe that Campfield's failure to seek benefits for
depression in the underlying administrative proceeding
prevents her from doing so now. (See Id. at 37; ECF
No. 16, at 2-18.) Second, although the additional medical
document regarding Campfield's spine and lower
extremities indicates that she may indeed suffer from a
qualifying impairment under the relevant Social Security
regulations (see R. & R. at 38-39; ECF No. 16,
at 19), the Magistrate Judge already considered similar
documentation, and his Report and Recommendation rightly
concludes that this proof falls short of establishing a
necessary element of Campfield's claim for benefits;
namely, that she “suffers from motor loss, spinal
arachnoiditis, or an inability to ambulate effectively”
(R. & R. at 40 (citing 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App.
1, § 1.04A-C)). Consequently, this additional evidence
would not have changed the outcome of the administrative
proceeding even if it had been submitted below, and it
therefore provides no basis for disturbing either the
ALJ's or Magistrate Judge Harvey's ruling. See
Jones v. Astrue, 647 F.3d 350, 358 (D.C. Cir. 2011).
in the absence of any timely-filed objections, and after
conducting its own review of this matter, this Court accepts
Magistrate Judge Harvey's analysis of the ALJ's
findings and the record evidence in full, and will ADOPT the
Report and Recommendation in its entirety. Accordingly,
Plaintiff's  Motion for Judgment of Reversal will be
DENIED, and Defendant's  Motion for Judgment of
Affirmance will be GRANTED.
separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
CAMPFIELD Plaintiff, v.
W. COLVIN, in her official capacity as Acting Commissioner of
Social Security Defendant.
No. 15-cv-1507 (KBJ/GMH)
matter was referred to the undersigned for full case
management. In this action, Plaintiff Geraldine Campfield,
proceeding pro se, seeks reversal of a decision of
the Commissioner of Social Security denying her benefits
pursuant to the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Before the undersigned are Plaintiff's motion for
judgment of reversal and Defendant's motion for judgment
of affirmance. Plaintiff's briefing in support of her
motion consists of two letters to the Court with several
medical records attached to each. Neither letter contains any
assertions of error or supporting legal arguments. Plaintiff
has therefore failed to successfully demonstrate that any
part of the decision of the administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) was erroneous. Moreover, having reviewed
the administrative record and Plaintiff's additional
medical records, the undersigned detects no basis for remand
or any reversible error in the ALJ's decision. Thus, upon
review of the entire record,  the undersigned recommends that
Plaintiff's motion be denied and Defendant's motion
Legal Framework for Social Security Disability
eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security
Act, a claimant must be found to be disabled by the Social
Security Administration (“SSA”). 42 U.S.C. §
423(a). In most cases, to determine whether a claimant is
disabled within the meaning of the Act, an ALJ gathers
evidence, holds a hearing, takes testimony, and performs a
five-step legal evaluation of the claimant using that
evidence. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520.
evaluation, the ALJ must determine whether: (1) the claimant
is “presently engaged in substantial gainful
activity”; (2) the claimant has a “medically
severe impairment or impairments”; (3) the
claimant's impairment is equivalent to one of the
impairments listed in the appendix of the relevant disability
regulation; (4) the impairment prevents the claimant from
performing his past relevant work; and (5) the claimant, in
light of his age, education, work experience, and residual
functioning capacity (“RFC”), can still perform
another job that is available in the national economy.
Id. A claimant's RFC is his ability to perform
either past relevant work or any other work available in the
national economy. See Butler v. Barnhart, 353 F.3d
992, 1000 (D.C. Cir. 2004). According to Social Security
Ruling (“SSR”) 96-8p, “RFC is an
administrative assessment of the extent to which an
individual's medically determinable impairment(s),
including any related symptoms, such as pain, may cause
physical or mental limitations or restrictions that may
affect his or her capacity to do work-related physical and
mental activities” in a work setting for eight hours
per day, five days a week, or an equivalent work schedule.
Titles II & XVI: Assessing Residual Functional
Capacity in Initial Claims, SSR 96-8p, 1996 WL 374184,
at *2 (July 2, 1996). In short, it represents the most a
claimant is able to do notwithstanding his physical or mental
limitations. See Butler, 353 F.3d at 1000.
claimant bears the burden of proof in the first four steps of
the evaluation. Callahan v. Astrue, 786 F.Supp.2d
87, 89 (D.D.C. 2011). At step five, however, the burden
shifts to the Commissioner to identify specific jobs
available in the national economy that the claimant can
perform. Id. .In making this determination, an ALJ
may call a vocational expert (“VE”) to testify as
to whether a claimant can perform other work that exists in
the national economy. Id. at 90. A VE may draw her
conclusions from a number of sources, including the
Dictionary of Occupational Titles (“DOT”).
Id. The DOT, last published by the U.S. Department
of Labor in 1991, provides a brief description of occupations
within the national economy and lists the capabilities that
each occupation requires of a worker. See generally
Introduction to DOT (4th ed. 1991), available
at 1991 WL 645964. Along with VE testimony, the SSA
generally relies on the DOT to determine if there are jobs in
the national economy that a claimant can perform given his
RFC. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 416.966-416.969.
Plaintiff Geraldine Campfield
time of the alleged onset of her disability, Plaintiff was a
51-year-old woman residing in the District of Columbia. AR
19. She reached the 10th grade in high school and never
acquired a high school equivalent degree. Id. at 33.
Plaintiff previously worked as a mail clerk for twelve years.
Id. at 19, 238.
Plaintiff's Application for Benefits
13, 2012, Plaintiff filed applications for disability
insurance benefits and supplemental security income under
Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act, respectively.
Id. at 56. Plaintiff alleged disability beginning
May 8, 2012, due to neck and back problems as well as
stiffness in her left hand. Id. On August 8, 2012,
the Commissioner initially denied Plaintiff's claims,
determining that her current symptoms were not severe enough
to keep her from working. Id. at 95. Plaintiff
requested reconsideration of that decision, but the
Commissioner again denied her claims on December 5, 2012,
citing medical reports that showed her ability to perform
some less physically demanding types of work despite her pain
in the back, neck, and hand. Id. at 106. On February
1, 2013, Plaintiff filed a written request for a hearing,
which the Commissioner granted. Id. at 118-19.
Plaintiff appeared and testified at a hearing held before an
ALJ on May 13, 2014. Id. at 29-54. On June 25, 2014,
the ALJ denied Plaintiff's claims on the grounds that she
could return to her past work as a mail clerk and that she
was capable of performing “light work” available
in the national economy. Id. at 20.
appealed the ALJ's decision, and on August 3, 2015, the
Social Security Appeals Council denied her request for
review. Id. at 1-3. The ALJ's decision thus
became the Commissioner's final decision, see Ryan v.
Bentsen, 12 F.3d 245, 247 (D.C. Cir. 1993), and
Plaintiff then commenced this action for review of that
The Administrative Record
administrative hearing was held in this case before an ALJ.
AR 29-54. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified and was
represented by counsel. Id. at 29. The ALJ evaluated
Plaintiff's symptoms based on evidence in the
administrative record, including medical records and
opinions, Plaintiff's statements, and testimony from a
VE. The undersigned recounts the relevant portions of the
administrative record below.
Dr. Jeff Jacobson - Treating Physician
8, 2009, Plaintiff underwent an MRI which revealed
multi-level cervical spondylosis, cord flattening, and
central stenosis at the C5-C6 vertebra. Id. at 320.
Plaintiff was diagnosed with a herniated disc, cervical
spondylosis,  and cervical myelopathy. Id. at
696. On July 21, 2009, Dr. Jeff Jacobson, a neurologist,
performed an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at
¶ 5-C6 to alleviate Plaintiff's condition.
Id. During a follow-up evaluation on September 21,
2009, Dr. Jacobson observed that Plaintiff was recovering
adequately. Id. at 706.He recommended outpatient
physical therapy and “ultimately [felt] that she should
be able to return to the work force.” Id.
visited Wanda Evans, a physical therapist, on October 15,
2009, reporting difficulty sleeping due to pain in her neck,
shoulder, and right arm. Id. at 418-19. Ms. Evans
instructed Plaintiff to perform home exercises, but Plaintiff
later reported to Ms. Evans that she did not complete them.
Id. at 433. On November 11, 2009, Plaintiff visited
Dr. Douglas Vanzoeren with complaints of pain caused by
returning to work “too soon.” Id. at
430. Plaintiff claimed that her neurologist advised her
“not [to] return to work before the end of the year,
” but her employer found that “the documentation
for this was insufficient.” Id.
Drs. Cesar Torres and Mary Rae - Treating Physicians
April 20, 2012, Plaintiff reported pain in her left shoulder
to Dr. Cesar Torres, her primary care physician. Id.
at 362. He recommended that Plaintiff rest her shoulder,
apply ice to the area, and take over-the-counter pain
relievers to manage the pain. Id. at 363. In
addition, Dr. Torres instructed Plaintiff to perform range of
motion exercises at home and to return to the clinic if her
symptoms worsened or failed to improve. Id.
Plaintiff returned on May 4, 2012, reporting that her pain
persisted and that the over-the-counter medication was
unhelpful. Id. at 359. Dr. Torres ordered an X-ray
of Plaintiff's shoulder, prescribed a muscle relaxant,
and excused her from work until May 7, 2012. Id. at
360, 707. Moreover, Dr. Torres instructed Plaintiff not to
use her left shoulder at work before her follow-up
appointment on May 18, 2012. See id. at 707.
follow-up appointment, an examination of Plaintiff's
shoulder revealed signs of impingement syndrome, so Dr.
Torres recommended treatment with a steroid injection.
Id. at 357-58. Plaintiff declined the injection,
preferring medication instead. Id. at 358. Dr.
Torres prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug, referred
Plaintiff to an orthopedic clinic, and scheduled an
additional follow-up appointment for June 6, 2012.
Id. at 358, 708. He extended Plaintiff's leave
of absence from work until that appointment. Id. at
25, 2012, Plaintiff visited Dr. Mary Rae, an orthopedic
physician assistant, who performed a physical examination of
Plaintiff's spine and left arm. Id. at 301. This
examination revealed tenderness at Plaintiff's left
shoulder and neck and slight limitations to her spine's
lateral bending and flexion. Id. An X-ray also
revealed calcification of Plaintiff's distal rotator
cuff, but no fracture, dislocation, or other significant
degenerative changes. Id. Dr. Rae diagnosed
Plaintiff with tendinitis in her left shoulder. Id.
at 299. She recommended a steroid injection, over-the-counter
pain relievers, and no left-arm activity. Id. at
301. On June 6, 2012, Dr. Rae administered a steroid
injection to Plaintiff's left shoulder and told her to
return in a few weeks if the symptoms worsened or did not
improve. Id. at 295-96.
same day, Plaintiff returned to Dr. Torres for her next
follow-up appointment. See id. at 340. During this
visit, Dr. Torres observed that Plaintiff could not
“elevate [her] left shoulder to any extent” and
doubted the possibility of an extensive recovery.
Id. at 340-41. He extended Plaintiff's leave of
absence until June 15, 2012, for a “final eval[uation]
to return to work.” Id. at 341, 710. During
that evaluation, Dr. Torres observed pain and decreased range
of motion in her left shoulder. Id. at 338. He
diagnosed her with a left rotator cuff tear and referred her
for an orthopedic specialist consultation. Id. at
338-39. Once again, Dr. Torres extended Plaintiff's leave
of absence from work until that consultation, which he
anticipated would occur on approximately July 6, 2012.
Id. at 712.
21, 2012, Dr. Torres reviewed the results from
Plaintiff's left shoulder X-ray, finding evidence of
tendinitis but no indications of a full thickness tear in
Plaintiff's rotator cuff. Id. at 388-89.
According to the administrative record, Plaintiff did not
visit Dr. Torres again until April 3, 2014. See id.
at 724. During this visit, Dr. Torres diagnosed Plaintiff
with cervical radiculopathy and spinal
stenosis in her cervical spine. Id. He
instructed Plaintiff to treat these conditions with two daily
doses of morphine. Id. Based on her current
treatment records, see infra Part B.6, Plaintiff no
longer takes morphine or any other narcotic for pain.
Dr. Omar Akhtar - Consultative Physician
visited Dr. Omar Akhtar, an orthopedic specialist, on June
20, 2012, pursuant to Dr. Torres' referral. Id.
at 333. Plaintiff reported an aching, sharp, stabbing, and
throbbing pain in her left shoulder, which she rated as an 8
out of 10. Id. Dr. Akhtar diagnosed Plaintiff with
severe shoulder inflammation and opined that she had
“possible nerve irritation in her neck.”
Id. at 713. He excused her from working for the next
six weeks. Id. To treat Plaintiff's conditions,
Dr. Akhtar opined that physical therapy would improve her
range of motion and that Plaintiff's cervical spine pain
was not causing her shoulder pain. Id. at 336. Dr.
Akhtar further opined that Plaintiff “may or may
not” benefit from rotator cuff surgery, but he noted
concerns regarding post-operative stiffness if Plaintiff
could not improve her range of motion. Id. Finally,
he ordered an X-ray and MRI to evaluate Plaintiff's lower
cervical spine. Id.
24, 2012, Dr. Akhtar evaluated Plaintiff's X-ray and MRI
results. Id. at 383, 386. The X-ray revealed no
evidence of a C5-C6 fusion change, or of a fracture or
hardware complication from her surgery on July 21, 2009.
Id. at 386-87. Plaintiff's MRI showed
“[d]egenerative disc disease . . . with up to moderate
neural foraminal and minimal central canal stenosis[.]”
Id. at 385.
Yvette Francis - Physical Therapist
25, 2012, Plaintiff saw Yvette Francis, a physical therapist,
claiming to hear a clicking or popping noise in her left
shoulder that was accompanied by a burning sensation.
Id. at 330. Ms. Francis recommended that Plaintiff
administer a cold pack to the area for ten or twelve minutes
daily. Id. at 330-31. She considered Plaintiff
“a good rehab candidate, ” opining that Plaintiff
would be able to perform her job-related duties
(i.e., lifting thirty to forty-five pounds of mail
matter) within nine or ten physical therapy appointments.
Id. at 331-32. On July 17, 2012, Plaintiff reported
an inability to work, due to weakness in her left side and
severe pain that increased by sitting, laying down, or
turning her head. Id. at 323. Ms. Francis treated
Plaintiff's symptoms with a cold pack and noted
tenderness and decreased range of motion along
Plaintiff's cervical spine. Id. at 324. Ms.
Francis decided that more therapy sessions were required to
determine whether Plaintiff was an “appropriate
candidate that can benefit from [physical therapy]
a session on July 25, 2012, Plaintiff rated her neck pain as
a 6 out of 10, which increased when she was active.
Id. at 322. She was unable to tolerate her neck
being touched, so Ms. Francis recommended that Plaintiff
visit a pain management center (“PMC”).
Id. Plaintiff returned to Ms. Francis on August 9,
2012, again reporting severe neck pain. Id. at 510.
She also reported making an appointment with a PMC in late
August. Id. Ms. Francis determined that Plaintiff
was experiencing no improvement from physical therapy and
discharged her to the PMC. Id.
Drs. Hwei Lin and Vrishali Dalvi - Consultative
Torres referred Plaintiff to Dr. Hwei Lin, an
anesthesiologist, and on August 22, 2012, Plaintiff reported
an aching shoulder pain that worsened by sitting, walking,
and lifting. Id. at 505. She rated her pain as a 9
out of 10. Id. Dr. Lin opined that she had adhesive
capsulitis of the left shoulder. Id. at
508. Dr. Lin recommended a steroid injection,
but Plaintiff first wanted to try pain-relieving medications.
Id. During a later visit on November 27, 2013, Dr.
Lin diagnosed Plaintiff with cervical radiculitis.
Id. at 714.
October 15, 2013, Plaintiff saw Dr. Vrishali Dalvi, a
rheumatologist, for knee and back pain. Id. at 718.
Specifically, Plaintiff reported pain in her right knee and
lower back that over-the-counter medications could not
alleviate. Id. She also reported that she
discontinued Dr. Lin's prescribed medications because she
believed that some were ineffective and others caused rapid
heartbeat and shortness of breath. Id. Dr. Dalvi
recommended that Plaintiff treat her symptoms by applying
capsaicin cream, taking Aleve, and attempting regular
exercise. Id. at 719. Dr. Dalvi also ordered an MRI
of Plaintiff's lumbar spine. Id. at 722. That
MRI revealed trace disc desiccation and disc bulging at the
L3-L4 and L4-L5 vertebra, but the radiologist observed no
acute fractures or subluxation. Id. at 723. He
did, however, find multilevel spondylotic changes at the
L4-L5 and L5-S1 vertebra. Id.
Drs. Esther Pinder and Alex Hemphill - State Medical
Esther Pinder, an SSA consultative physician, evaluated
Plaintiff's initial disability claim on August 7, 2012,
and determined that Plaintiff could occasionally lift twenty
pounds, frequently carry ten pounds, stand or walk for six
hours during an eight-hour workday, and sit for six hours
during an eight-hour workday. Id. at 69. She also
determined that Plaintiff's left arm could not push,
pull, or reach and that she could never climb ladders, ropes,
or scaffolds. Id. Dr. Pinder noted that Plaintiff is
right-handed, able to drive a car, and able “to do most
household chores.” Id. at 70. Dr. Pinder
ultimately found that Plaintiff was not disabled because the
evidence indicated “no significant muscle weakness or
loss control . . . secondary to nerve damage, ”
Plaintiff could use her right arm “without difficulty,
” and she could “stand, walk, and move
about.” Id. at 72. Dr. Pinder opined that
Plaintiff could perform “light work.”
Id. at 71.
December 3, 2012, another SSA physician, Dr. Alex Hemphill,
evaluated Plaintiff's disability claim during its
reconsideration. Id. at 82. Plaintiff reported
shortness of breath and difficulty grooming, dressing, and
bathing. Id. at 76. Like Dr. Pinder, Dr. Hemphill
determined that Plaintiff could occasionally lift twenty
pounds, frequently carry ten pounds, stand or walk for six
hours during an eight-hour workday, and sit for six hours
during an eight-hour workday. Id. at 80. Dr.
Hemphill further agreed with Dr. Pinder's determinations
regarding Plaintiff's degree of mobility, use of her
right arm, and lack of muscle weakness. See id. at
83. Dr. Hemphill also found that Plaintiff's impairments
precluded her from pushing, pulling, or reaching with her
left arm and from climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds.
Id. at 80-81. Like Dr. Pinder, Dr. Hemphill opined
that Plaintiff could perform “light work.”
Id. at 82.
October 2, 2012, Plaintiff stated in her function report,
submitted as part of her application for benefits, that she
can drive a car, shop at the grocery store twice per month
for thirty minutes, and handle her own finances. Id.
at 261. As for other household activities, Plaintiff reported
preparing her own meals twice weekly and ironing her clothes,
but she experienced difficulty cleaning her bathroom and
dusting. Id. at 260. She also reported difficulty
taking showers, dressing herself, and putting her hair in a
ponytail. Id. at 259. Plaintiff represented that she
cannot walk more than half a block without resting for ten
minutes, that she drops objects when handling them for too
long, and that she has problems returning to a standing
position after kneeling, bending, and squatting. Id.
at 263. Plaintiff stated that her “balance isn't
good.” Id. at 264. Finally, Plaintiff claimed
that her attention span is “very short.”
Id. at 262.
the administrative hearing, Plaintiff reported that she
stopped working on May 8, 2012, due to problems with her
back, neck, and left arm. Id. at 35. She testified
that working as a mail clerk required “writing on
forms, checking mail, lifting, [and] pulling cages.”
Id. at 34. Plaintiff received long-term disability
benefits until February 10, 2014, when she asked Dr. Torres
for a note recommending that she could return to work.
Id. at 46-47, 50. The note, Plaintiff claims,
prohibited her from heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling, and
restricted her to three hours of work. Id. at 50.
However, Plaintiff's employer did not permit her to
return to work, and she subsequently lost her disability
benefits. Id. She stated that Dr. Torres prescribed
pain medications for her neck problems, which “eases
the pain a little, ” but she is “try[ing] to wean
[her]self off it” without informing Dr. Torres because
the medication impairs her ability to focus. Id. at
37. Plaintiff stated that the medication was Percocet, though
no records indicate that Dr. Torres prescribed Percocet to
her. Plaintiff alleged that the
medication's effects lasted up to four hours.
Id. at 48. According to Plaintiff, she cannot stand
longer than twenty minutes, sit longer than thirty minutes,
or lift more than ten pounds without excruciating pain.
Id. at 39. She also reported walking approximately a
quarter of a mile approximately three times per week and
attending church every Sunday, wherein she must alternate
between sitting and standing. Id. at 46. She
testified that she attended a concert at Constitution Hall on
February 14, 2014. Id.