United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. GOSSETT, Magistrate Judge.
social security matter is before the court for a Report and
Recommendation pursuant to Local Civil Rule 83.VII.02
(D.S.C.). The plaintiff, Eleanor Youngblood, brought this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) to
obtain judicial review of a final decision of the defendant,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security
("Commissioner"), denying her claims for Disability
Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental
Security Income ("SSI"). Having carefully
considered the parties' submissions and the applicable
law, the court concludes that the Commissioner's decision
should be affirmed.
SECURITY DISABILITY GENERALLY
42 U.S.C. Â§ 423(d)(1)(A), (d)(5) and Â§ 1382c(a)(3)(H)(i), as
well as pursuant to the regulations formulated by the
Commissioner, the plaintiff has the burden of proving
disability, which is defined as an "inability to do any
substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically
determinable physical or mental impairment which can be
expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be
expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12
months." 20 C.F.R. Â§Â§ 404.1505(a), 416.905(a); see also
Blalock v. Richardson, 483 F.2d 773 (4th Cir. 1973).
The regulations require the Administrative Law Judge
("ALJ") to consider, in sequence:
(1) whether the claimant is engaged in substantial gainful
(2) whether the claimant has a "severe" impairment;
(3) whether the claimant has an impairment that meets or
equals the requirements of an impairment listed in 20 C.F.R.
Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 ("the Listings"),
and is thus presumptively disabled;
(4) whether the claimant can perform her past relevant work;
(5) whether the claimant's impairments prevent her from
doing any other kind of work.
20 C.F.R. Â§Â§ 404.1520(a)(4), 416.920(a)(4). If the ALJ
can make a determination that a claimant is or is not
disabled at any point in this process, review does not
proceed to the next step. Id.
this analysis, a claimant has the initial burden of showing
that she is unable to return to her past relevant work
because of her impairments. Once the claimant establishes a
prima facie case of disability, the burden shifts to
the Commissioner. To satisfy this burden, the Commissioner
must establish that the claimant has the residual functional
capacity, considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and impairments, to perform alternative jobs that
exist in the national economy. 42 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 423(d)(2)(A),
1382c(a)(3)(A)-(B); see also McLain v. Schweiker,
715 F.2d 866, 868-69 (4th Cir. 1983); Hall v.
Harris, 658 F.2d 260, 264-65 (4th Cir. 1981); Wilson
v. Califano, 617 F.2d 1050, 1053 (4th Cir. 1980). The
Commissioner may carry this burden by obtaining testimony
from a vocational expert. Grant v. Schweiker, 699
F.2d 189, 192 (4th Cir. 1983).
April 2012, Youngblood applied for DIB and SSI, alleging
disability beginning October 15, 2010. Youngblood's
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration,
and she requested a hearing before an ALJ. A hearing was held
on July 16, 2013 at which Youngblood, who was represented by
Beatrice Whitten, Esquire, appeared and testified. After
hearing testimony from a vocational expert, the ALJ issued a
decision on November 5, 2013 concluding that Youngblood was
not disabled prior to July 10, 2012, but became disabled on
that date and has continued to be disabled through the date
of the decision. (Tr. 11-21.)
was born in 1954 and was fifty-seven years old at the time of
her established disability onset date. (Tr. 20, 150.) She has
a sixth grade education and has past relevant work experience
as an operator/cook and a houskeeper. (Tr. 209-10.)
Youngblood alleged disability ...