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Wise v. Colvin

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division

November 24, 2014

Gary Legrande Wise, Plaintiff,
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant

Gary L Wise, Plaintiff, Pro se, Sumter, SC.

Commissioner Social Security Administration, Defendant: Marshall Prince, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorneys Office, Columbia, SC.


Kevin F. McDonald, United States Magistrate Judge.

This case is before the court for a report and recommendation pursuant to Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(a)(D.S.C.), concerning the disposition of Social Security cases in this District, and Title 28, United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)(B).[1]

The plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, brought this action pursuant to Sections 205(g) and 1631(c)(3) of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 405(g) and 1383(c)(3)), to obtain judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying his claims for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act.


The plaintiff filed applications for widower's insurance benefits (" WIB")[2] and supplemental security income (" SSI") benefits on July 19, 2010, alleging that he became unable to work on August 20, 2002. The applications were denied initially and on reconsideration by the Social Security Administration. On July 27, 2011, the plaintiff requested a hearing. The administrative law judge (" ALJ"), before whom the plaintiff, his attorney, and Carroll H. Crawford, an impartial vocational expert, appeared on January 28, 2013, considered the case de novo, and on March 6, 2013, found that the plaintiff was not under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act, as amended. The ALJ's finding became the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security when the Appeals Council denied the plaintiff's request for review on August 20, 2013. The plaintiff then filed this action for judicial review.

In making the determination that the plaintiff is not entitled to benefits, the Commissioner has adopted the following findings of the ALJ:

(1) It was previously found that the claimant is the unmarried widower of the deceased insured worker and has attained the age of 50. The claimant met the non-disability requirements for disabled widowers benefits set forth in section 202(f) of the Social Security Act.
(2) The prescribed period ended on April 30, 2009.
(3) The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 20, 2002, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1571 et seq. and 416.971 et. seq.).
(4) The claimant has the following severe impairments: status post remote coronary artery bypass grafting, coronary artery disease with right lower extremity claudification, and lumbar spine degenerative stenosis (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
(5) The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925, and 416.926).
(6) After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § § 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except for work requiring lifting or carrying more than 20 pounds; lifting or carrying of 11 to 20 pounds more than occasionally; lifting or carrying of 9 pounds or less more than frequently; standing and/or walking in combination for more than a total of 6 hours in an 8 hour workday; climbing ladders or scaffolds; excessive sun exposure; exposure to humidity or temperature extremes; or more than occasional stooping, twisting, crouching, kneeling, crawling, or climbing stairs or ramps.
(7) The claimant has no past relevant work (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1565 and 416.965).
(8) The claimant was born on August 25, 1958, and was 43 years old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the alleged disability onset date. The claimant subsequently changed age category to closely approaching advanced age (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1563 and 416.963).
(9) The claimant has at least a high school education and is able to communicate in English (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1564 and 416.964).
(10) Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the claimant does not have past relevant work (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1568 and 416.968)
(11) Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1569, 404.1569(a), 416.969, and 416.969(a)).
(12) The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from August 20, 2002, through the date of this decision (20 C.F.R. § § 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).

The only issues before the court are whether proper legal standards were applied and whether the final decision of the Commissioner ...

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