United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Bryan Harwell United States District Judge
Devon Heath Horton 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 his claim for child's insurance benefits (CIB)
under the Social Security Act (the Act). The matter is before
the Court for consideration of Plaintiff's objections to
the Report and Recommendation (R & R) of United States
Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker, made in accordance with
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule
73.02(B)(2)(a) for the District of South Carolina.
See R & R, ECF No. 19; Pl.'s Objs., ECF No.
22. The Magistrate Judge recommends the Court affirm the
Commissioner's decision. R & R at 18.
applied for CIB on January 31, 2012, alleging disability as
of his date of birth, November 4, 1988. See
Administrative Transcript (Tr.) [ECF No. 8] at 10, 35,
168-74. The Commissioner denied Plaintiff's application
initially and on reconsideration, so he requested a hearing
before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Tr. at 112-16, 119,
126-27. The ALJ held a hearing on December 10, 2013, and he
heard testimony from Plaintiff,  Plaintiff's uncle, and a
vocational expert. Tr. at 29-67. The ALJ issued an
unfavorable decision on February 28, 2014, finding Plaintiff
was not disabled. Tr. at 7-28. The ALJ made the following
1. Born on November 4, 1988, claimant had not attained age 22
as of November 4, 1988, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.102 and 404.350(a)(5)).
2. Claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since November 4, 1988, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq.).
3. Prior to attaining age 22, claimant had the following
severe impairments: visual disorders, history of learning
disabilities, borderline intellectual functioning; attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder; personality disorder with
avoidant traits (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).
4. Prior to attaining age 22, claimant did 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, I find
that, prior to attaining age 22, claimant had the residual
functional capacity to perform work at all exertional levels,
but with the following nonexertional limitations: simple,
routine tasks; no required ongoing interaction with the
general public; a low stress environment defined as no
required piece rate, no rigid inflexible production schedule,
no required adaptation to frequent changes at the work site,
and no required complex decisionmaking; no tasks that require
binocular vision or keen depth perception; no exposure to
hazards such as unprotected heights, vibration, and dangerous
machinery; no operation of heavy industrial equipment.
6. Claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
7. Claimant was born on November 4, 1988 and was 0 years old,
which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on the
alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563).
8. Claimant has at least a high school education and is able
to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because
claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1568).
10. Prior to attaining age 22, considering claimant's
age, education, work experience, and residual functional
capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in
the national economy that claimant can perform (20 CFR
404.1569 and 404.1569(a)).
11. Claimant has not been under a disability, as defined in
the Social Security Act, at any time prior to November 3,
2010, the date he attained age 22 (20 CFR 404.350(a)(5) and
Tr. at 12-22. The ALJ's findings became the final
decision of the Commissioner when the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for further review on February 5,
2015. Tr. 1-6.
filed the instant action on April 8, 2015, seeking judicial
review of the Commissioner's decision. ECF No. 1. Both
Plaintiff and the Commissioner filed briefs, and the
Magistrate Judge issued an R & R on July 26, 2016,
recommending that the Court affirm the Commissioner's
decision. ECF Nos. 12, 13, 16, 18, & 19. Plaintiff filed
timely objections to the R & R on August 18, 2016. ECF
No. 22 (Pl.'s Objs.). Defendant filed a timely reply to
Plaintiff's objections on September 1, 2016. ECF No. 24.
Judicial Review of the Commissioner's Findings
federal judiciary has a limited role in the administrative
scheme established by the Act, which provides the
Commissioner's findings “shall be conclusive”
if they are “supported by substantial evidence.”
42 U.S.C. § 405(g). “Substantial evidence has been
defined innumerable times as more than a scintilla, but less
than preponderance.” Thomas v. Celebrezze, 331
F.2d 541, 543 (4th Cir. 1964). Substantial evidence
“means such relevant ...