Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hill v. Berryhill

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

June 23, 2017

David Roy Hill, Plaintiff,
v.
Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, [1] Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         Plaintiff David Roy Hill (“Plaintiff”) filed this action seeking judicial review of the final decision of the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the “Commissioner”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3). (ECF No. 1.) This matter is before the court for review of the Report and Recommendation (“Report”) of United States Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett, issued in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(a) (D.S.C.). (ECF No. 19.) The Magistrate Judge recommended affirming the Commissioner's final decision denying Plaintiff's claims for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). (Id. at 13.) Plaintiff timely filed objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report. (ECF No. 23.) For the reasons set forth below, the court RECOMMITS the matter to the Magistrate Judge for further proceedings.

         I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK

         A thorough recitation of the relevant factual and procedural background of this matter is discussed in the Report. (See ECF No. 19.) The court concludes, upon its own careful review of the record, that the Magistrate Judge's factual and procedural summation is accurate and incorporates it by reference. The court will only reference herein facts pertinent to its analysis.

         A. Administrative proceedings

         On September 25, 2012, Plaintiff filed applications for DIB and SSI, alleging a disability onset date of July 31, 2010, due to protruding or bulging discs in his neck and back; arthritis in his shoulder, radiating pain in his neck, shoulder, and arm; degenerative disc disease; and side effects from medication. (ECF No. 10-5 at 2, 9; ECF No. 10-6 at 6, 14.) Plaintiff's claims were denied on January 11, 2013, and again on reconsideration on January 14, 2013. (ECF No. 10-3 at 2-15; ECF No. 10-4 at 2-9.)

         On March 4, 2014, Plaintiff had a hearing before Administrative Law Judge Thomas G. Henderson (ECF No. 10-2 at 53-69), who found on March 28, 2014, that Plaintiff was not disabled under §§ 216(i), 223(d), and 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act (ECF No. 10-3 at 21-29). Plaintiff appealed, and, on April 14, 2015, the Appeals Council vacated Henderson's decision in light of new evidence presented on appeal and remanded the case for further proceedings. (Id. at 33-35.)

         On July 21, 2015, Plaintiff had a second hearing before Administrative Law Judge Marcus Christ (the “ALJ”). (ECF No. 10-2 at 32-52.) On August 31, 2015, the ALJ again found that Plaintiff was not disabled under the Social Security Act provisions. (Id. at 17-26.) Thereafter, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review on April 24, 2015, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner for purposes of judicial review. (Id. at 14-16.)

         B. The legal framework for the ALJ's decision

         The ALJ's decision followed the familiar five-step process for making a disability determination:

[T]he ALJ asks at step one whether the claimant has been working; at step two, whether the claimant's medical impairments meet the [relevant] regulations' severity and duration requirements; at step three, whether the medical impairments meet or equal an impairment listed in the regulations; at step four, whether the claimant can perform h[is] past work given the limitations caused by h[is] medical impairments; and at step five, whether the claimant can perform other work.

Mascio v. Colvin, 780 F.3d 632, 634 (4th Cir. 2015).

         “If a claimant fails to demonstrate he has a disability that meets or medically equals a listed impairment at step three, the ALJ must assess the claimant's residual functional capacity (“RFC”) . . ., which is ‘the most the claimant can still do despite [his] physical and mental limitations that affect [his] ability to work.'” Lewis v. Berryhill, F.3d, No. 15-2473, 2017 WL 2381113, at *2 (4th Cir. June 2, 2017) (brackets omitted) (quoting 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1545(a)(1), 416.945(a)(1)). When assessing a claimant's RFC,

the ALJ must examine “all of the claimant's medically determinable impairments of which the ALJ is aware, ” “including those not labeled severe at step two.” In addition, he must “consider all the claimant's symptoms, including pain, and the extent to which [his] symptoms can reasonably be accepted as consistent with the objective medical evidence and other evidence.” “When the medical signs or laboratory findings show that the claimant has . . . medically determinable impairment[s] that could reasonably be expected to produce [his] symptoms, such as pain, the ALJ must then evaluate the intensity and persistence of the claimant's symptoms so that the ALJ can determine how [his] symptoms limit [his] capacity for work.”

Id. (internal citations and brackets omitted) (quoting Mascio, 780 F.3d at 635; 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1525(a)(2), 404.1529(a), (c)(1), 416.925(a)(2), 416.929(a), (c)(1)). Regarding the specific circumstance when a claimant relies on subjective complaints regarding his pain as evidence of a restriction on his RFC, the ALJ is to “follow[] a two-step analysis when considering a claimant's subjective statements about impairments and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.