United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
GORDON BAKER, Magistrate Judge.
Cindy Meredith Hughes, through counsel, brought this action
to obtain judicial review of an unfavorable final
administrative decision denying benefits on her March 22,
2011 and March 24, 2011 applications for Disability Insurance
Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income
("SSI") under the Social Security Act
("Act"). See Section 205(g) of the SSA, as
amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 405(g). This matter was referred
to the Magistrate Judge for a Report and Recommendation
pursuant to Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(a), D.S.C., and Title 28,
United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)(B).
History and ALJ's Findings
Plaintiff was born August 19, 1961 and was 49 years old on
the alleged onset of disability date, November 1, 2010. (R.
194.) The Plaintiff filed for DIB and SSI on March 22, 2011,
and March 24, 2011, respectively. (R. 194, 202.) The
Plaintiff claimed disability due to seizures, severe
depression, post-traumatic stress disorder
("PTSD"), anxiety/panic attacks, and chronic pain.
(R. 255.) The Plaintiff's claims were initially denied
and denied on reconsideration. (R. 25.) Following a hearing,
the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denied her claim on
November 14, 2012. (R. 39.) The Plaintiff has exhausted her
administrative remedies. The ALJ's decision is now the
Commissioner's final action for purposes of judicial
review. In making the determination that the Plaintiff is not
entitled to benefits, the Commissioner adopted the following
findings of the ALJ's November 14, 2012 Decision (Id.):
(1) The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through September 30, 2013.
(2) The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since November 1, 2010 the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.
(3) The claimant has the following severe impairments:
colitis, seizure disorder, pulmonary atelectasis and
fibrosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression,
and obsessive-compulsive disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and
(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, 404.1526,
416.920(d), 416.925, and 416.926).
(5) After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except no ladders, ropes, or
scaffolding. The claimant can climb ramps or stairs
frequently but must avoid all exposure to hazards. Although
the claimant can manage simple instructions, she should have
no more than occasional superficial contact with the general
public, in an environment with few changes to the workplace
or to the working conditions, and no spoken interaction with
the general public. In addition the claimant should have no
exposure to gases, dusts, fumes, or other respiratory
(6) The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
(7) The claimant was born on August 19, 1961 and was 49 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
CFR 404.1563 and 416.963).
(8) The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and 416-964).
(9) Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is "not disabled, " whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41
and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
(10) 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 CFR 404.1569, 404.1569(a),
416.969, and 416.969(a)).
(11) The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from November 1, 2010, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and