United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
Carroll L. Johnson, Plaintiff,
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge
Plaintiff Carroll L. Johnson, (“Plaintiff”) seeks judicial review, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the “Commissioner”) denying Plaintiff’s claim for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and supplemental security income (“SSI”) under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (the “Act”). The matter is before the Court for review of 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(B)(2) for the District of South Carolina. The Magistrate Judge recommends the Court affirm the Commissioner’s decision. [ECF #19].
Factual Findings and Procedural History
The facts, including the medical timeline and evidence contained within the record, are adequately set forth by the Magistrate Judge in the Report and Recommendation. [ECF #19, pp. 5-14]. On August 23, 2011, Plaintiff filed a claim for DIB and SSI, alleging a disability onset date of August 24, 2009. [ECF #14, p. 3]. The Social Security Administration denied his application initially and on reconsideration, so Plaintiff requested a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) on January 19, 2012. [ECF #14, p. 3]. The ALJ held a hearing on June 5, 2013. [ECF #10-2, p. 26]. The ALJ denied Plaintiff’s claim on July 19, 2013, finding that Plaintiff was not under a disability as defined in the Social Security Act, as amended. [ECF #10-2, p. 36]. The ALJ’s findings were as follows:
(1) The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2013.
(2) The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 24, 2009, the alleged onset date (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
(3) The claimant has the following severe impairments: gout and arthritis of multiple joints including hips, left ankle and foot, right knee, and lumbar spine; depression; and obesity (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(c) and 416.92(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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
(5) After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the RFC to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) with restrictions that require simple, routine tasks; no reading or writing beyond unskilled level; a supervised environment; no lifting or carrying over 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; a two hour stand [option] at the work station; no climbing of ladders or scaffolds; no more than occasional use of foot pedals or other controls with the lower extremities; and avoidance [of] unprotected heights, vibration, and machinery with exposed, hazardous moving parts.
(6) The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1565 and 416.965).
(7) The claimant was born on February 5, 1960, and was 49 years old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, on the alleged disability onset date (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1563 and 416.963).
(8) 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).
(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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
(10) Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and RFC, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant can perform (20 C.F.R. ...