United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
Catherine D. Martin, Plaintiff,
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
R. BRYAN HARWELL, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court after the issuance of the Report and Recommendation ("R&R") of United States Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant. Plaintiff Catherine D. Martin brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying Plaintiff's claim for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act ("the Act"). In his R&R, the Magistrate Judge recommends affirming the decision of the Commissioner.
FACTUAL FINDINGS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff applied for disability insurance benefits on September 30, 2010, alleging disability as of December 11, 2009. The application was denied initially and on reconsideration. Plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"), which was held July 18, 2012. Plaintiff, represented by a non-attorney representative, appeared and testified at the hearing. A vocational expert also testified. The ALJ issued a decision dated August 12, 2012, finding that Plaintiff was not disabled. The ALJ's overall findings were as follows:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2015.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since December 11, 2009, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease with history of lumbar laminectomy, diskectomy and fusion surgeries and carpal tunnel syndrome (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. 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 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) requiring the following: lifting/carrying 10 pounds occasionally and frequently; standing/walking two hours of eight; sitting six hours of eight; pushing nine pounds bilaterally and no pulling. The claimant is also limited to occasional climbing stairs/ramps, but no ladders, ropes or scaffolds; occasional stooping, kneeling, crawling and crouching; frequent overhead reaching with the bilateral upper extremities; frequent feeling with the left upper extremity and frequent gross manipulation with the right upper extremity. The claimant has no problems with upper extremity dexterity. The claimant requires use of an assistive device while standing and supporting herself.
6. The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work as a secretary (Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT)# 201.362-030, described by the vocational expert as sedentary semi-skilled work) and proof operator (DOT# 217.382-010, described by the vocational expert as sedentary semi-skilled work). This work does not require the performance of work ...