DARRYL C. COSKERY, Plaintiff, Appellant,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant, Appellee.
FROM THE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE [Hon. Nancy
Torresen, U.S. District Judge]
L. Fenner for appellant.
Christopher L. Potter, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, with
whom Halsey B. Frank, United States Attorney, was on brief,
Lynch, Thompson, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
BARRON, Circuit Judge.
Coskery appeals the District Court's order upholding the
denial of his application for Social Security Disability
Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income. We
a former line cook and chef, filed his claim for benefits
with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in September
2013. The SSA denied his request. Coskery sought a hearing
before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), see 20
C.F.R. § 404.929, which was held on August 5, 2015.
question before the ALJ was whether Coskery was disabled.
See 42 U.S.C. § 423(a)(1). Congress defines
"disabled, " as relevant here, as the
"inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity
by reason of any medically determinable physical . . .
impairment which can be expected to result in death or which
has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period
of not less than 12 months[.]" Id. §
has promulgated a regulation that structures the inquiry that
an ALJ must undertake to evaluate whether a claimant is
"disabled" under the statute. The regulation sets
forth a five-step inquiry:
(i) At the first step, we consider your work activity, if
any. If you are doing substantial gainful activity, we will
find that you are not disabled. . . .
(ii) At the second step, we consider the medical severity of
your impairment(s). If you do not have a severe medically
determinable physical or mental impairment . . . we will find
that you are not disabled. . . .
(iii) At the third step, we also consider the medical
severity of your impairment(s). If you have an impairment(s)
that meets or equals one [set forth in an appended list] and
meets the duration requirement, we will find that you are
disabled . . . .
(iv) At the fourth step, we consider our assessment of your
residual functional capacity and your past relevant work. If
you can still do your past relevant work, we will find that
you are not disabled. . . .
(v) At the fifth and last step, we consider our assessment of
your residual functional capacity and your age, education,
and work experience to see if you can make an adjustment to
other work. If you can make an adjustment to other work, we
will find that you are not disabled. If you cannot make an
adjustment to other work, we will find that you are disabled.
20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(i)-(v).
released a decision on August 24, 2015 that determined that
Coskery's claim failed at the fifth step of the inquiry.
The ALJ ruled that, although Coskery suffered from a medical
impairment, he retained a "residual functional capacity
to perform light work." According to a regulation
promulgated by the SSA, light work requires an individual to
"lift no more than 20 pounds at a time with frequent
lifting or carrying of objects weighing ...