United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Smith, Jr, Plaintiff, represented by J. Leeds Barroll, IV, J
Leeds Barroll Law Office.
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration,
Defendant, represented by Marshall Prince, U.S. Attorneys
E. ROGERS, III, Magistrate Judge.
an action brought pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social
Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 405(g), to obtain
judicial review of a "final decision" of the
Commissioner of Social Security, denying Plaintiff's
claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB). The only
issues before the Court are whether the findings of fact are
supported by substantial evidence and whether proper legal
standards have been applied. This case is before the Court
pursuant to Local Rule 83.VII.02, D.S.C., concerning the
disposition of Social Security cases in this District on
consent of the parties. 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(c).
Plaintiff, Albert Smith, filed an application for DIB on
April 11, 2011, alleging disability beginning November 22,
2010. His application was denied at all administrative
levels, and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff filed a request
for a hearing. A hearing was held on July 24, 2013, at which
time the Plaintiff, Plaintiff's spouse, a friend of
Plaintiff, and a vocational expert (VE) testified. The
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an unfavorable decision
on December 13, 2013, finding Plaintiff was not disabled
within the meaning of the Act. (Tr. 8-29). On February 18,
2015, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review. (Tr. 1-6). The Appeals Council's denial of
Plaintiff's request for review made the ALJ's
decision the Commissioner's final decision. Plaintiff
filed this action on March 10, 2015, in the United States
District Court for the District of South Carolina.
Plaintiff's Background and Medical History
was born on January 2, 1964, and was 46 years old on the
alleged onset date. Plaintiff has past relevant work as a
forklift driver, truck driver, and general labor. Plaintiff
has at least a high school education and alleges disability
beginning November 22, 2010.
Medical Records and Opinions
provided a detailed summary of the medical evidence, the
various physicians' opinions, as well as Plaintiff's
testimony, which the Court adopts to the extent that it is
consistent with this decision. Additional factual details
will be added where necessary to address the issues raised by
ALJ's Decision In the decision of December 13, 2013, the
ALJ found the following:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through September 30, 2016.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since November 22, 2010, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq. ).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: broken
facial bones, degenerative disc disease (DDD), degenerative
joint disease (DJD. upper left extremity (ULE) and cognitive
disorder (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 light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) except with no climbing of ladders, ropes or
scaffolds; occasional climbing of ramps or stairs; occasional
balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling;
limited to occasional overhead reaching with left upper
extremity; avoidance of unprotected heights and dangerous
equipment. He is further limited to simple unskilled work.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work.
(20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on January 2, 1964, and was 46 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the alleged ...