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Dean W. Welch v. Michael J. Astrue

July 28, 2011

DEAN W. WELCH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry M. Herlong, Jr. Senior United States District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the court with the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald, made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina.*fn1 Dean W. Welch seeks judicial review of the Commissioner of Social Security's ("Commissioner") denial of his application for supplemental security income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. Magistrate Judge McDonald recommends reversing the Commissioner's decision and remanding the case for further administrative action. The Commissioner filed objections to the Report and Recommendation on July 12, 2011. For the reasons explained below, the court declines to adopt the Report and Recommendation and affirms the ALJ's denial of benefits.

I.FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The facts are fully set forth in the decision of the administrative law judge ("ALJ"), (R. at 9-19), and summarized as follows. At the time of the hearing before the ALJ, Welch was a twenty-five-year-old man with a GED and past relevant work as a turf harvester and automobile welder. (Id. at 23, 108, 112.) Welch alleges that he has been disabled since June 20, 2005, due to porphyria cutanea tarda, a blood disorder. (Id. at 107.)

Welch filed an application for SSI on September 23, 2005. (Id. at 102.) The application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Id. at 9.) On March 18, 2008, Welch appeared and testified at a hearing before the ALJ. (R. at 20.) The ALJ found that Welch had the following severe impairments: anemia, skin disorder, affective disorder, and anxiety disorder. (Id. at 11.) He further determined that Welch was unable to perform past relevant work, but that he could perform a significant number of other occupations in the national economy. (Id. at 17-18.) Accordingly, the ALJ concluded that Welch was not disabled and denied his application for SSI. (Id. at 19.) Welch sought review of the ALJ's decision with the Appeals Counsel, claiming the ALJ's decision was not supported by substantial evidence. (Id. at 5.) He provided the Appeals Council with new medical evidence showing the impact of his social anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders. (Id. at ...


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