United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. Rogers, III United States 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) and
Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 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 was referred to the undersigned for a
report and recommendation pursuant to Local Rule
7, 2013, the Plaintiff filed an application for DIB and SSI
alleging disability since August 18, 2012. The claim was
denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Tr. 97-104,
109-12). A hearing was held by an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) on March 27, 2015. (Tr. 22-48). The ALJ
found in a decision dated April 15, 2015, that Plaintiff was
not disabled. (Tr. 11-21). On July 31, 2015, the Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review making the
ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision for
purposes of judicial review. (Tr. 1-4). Plaintiff filed this
action on August 27, 2015, in the United States District
Court for the District of South Carolina.
Plaintiff's Background and Medical History
1. Introductory Facts
was born on August 16, 1962, and was 50 years old on the
alleged disability onset date. (Tr. 21). Plaintiff has at
least a high school education and past relevant work
experience as a tool room attendant, an auto salesperson and
repairer, a heavy wheel/equipment mechanic, and a quality
control inspector. Plaintiff alleges disability primarily due
to his degenerative disc disease.
The ALJ's Decision
decision of April 25, 2015, the ALJ found the following:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2018.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since August 18, 2012, the alleged onset date. (20
CFR 404.1571, et seq., and 416.971 et
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease (DDD), osteoarthritis of the left
hip, and degenerative changes of the right shoulder. (20 CFR
404.1520(c) and 416.920(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, 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 that he can frequently
balance, occasionally climb ramps or stairs, stoop, kneel,
crouch, and crawl, but never climb ladders, ropes or
scaffolds. He can occasionally reach overhead and frequently
reach out bilaterally. He needs a sit/stand option at his
workstation every 60 minutes and can never drive.
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 16, 1962, and was 50 years
old, which is defined as an individual approaching advanced
age, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR 404.1563
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 were 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 August 18, 2012, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).
Plaintiff argues that the ALJ erred in her decision, and
requests that the decision of the Defendant be reversed and
remanded for further proceedings. (Pl. Br. at 12).
Specifically, Plaintiff ...