United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Gordon Baker, Judge
case is before the Court for a Report and Recommendation
pursuant to Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(a), D.S.C., concerning the
disposition of Social Security cases in this District, and
Title 28, United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)(B). Plaintiff
James Hardy (“Plaintiff”) brought this action
pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, as
amended, (42 U.S.C. § 405(g)), to obtain judicial review
of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
Administration (the “Administration”) regarding
his claim for Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act
(the “Act”). For the reasons set forth below, the
undersigned recommends that this matter be remanded for
further consideration and analysis by the Commissioner.
FACTS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS
was 53 years old on his amended alleged disability onset date
of January 2014. (R. at 52, 76; Dkt. No. 12 at 6.) His
original alleged disability onset date was May 3,
2013. (R. at 26, 76; Dkt. No. 12 at 6.)
Plaintiff alleged disability due to, inter alia, arthritis in
his back; herniated disc; high blood pressure; depression;
and restless leg syndrome. (R. at 76.) Plaintiff has past
relevant work as a restaurant manager and fast food cook.
(Id. at 38, 209.)
filed an application for DIB on June 30, 2014. (Id.
at 26, 163.) His application was denied initially on August
11, 2014, and on reconsideration on October 2, 2014.
(Id. at 26, 87, 102.) After a hearing before the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) on July 19,
2016, (id. at 45-75), the ALJ issued a decision on
September 28, 2016, in which the ALJ found that Plaintiff was
not disabled (id. at 26-39). The Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review, (id. at
1-3), making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's
final decision for purposes of judicial review.
making the determination that Plaintiff is not entitled to
benefits, the Commissioner has adopted the following findings
of the decision:
(1) The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2017.
(2) The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since May 3, 2013, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq.).
(3) The claimant has the following severe impairments: lumbar
degenerative disc disease, right wrist, obesity, and restless
leg syndrome (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 he can lift and carry 20 pounds
occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. He can stand, walk,
and sit six hours in an eight hour workday. The claimant can
occasionally climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds, stoop, and
crawl. He can frequently climb ramps and stairs, balance,
kneel, and crouch. He can frequently handle with the right
(6) The claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a restaurant manager and cook, fast food. This work does
not require the performance of work-related activities
precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity
(20 CFR 404.1565).
(7) The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from May 3, 2013, through the
date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(f)).
(Id. at 28-38.)
provides that disability benefits shall be available to those
persons insured for benefits, who are not of retirement age,
who properly apply, and who are under a
“disability.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(a).
“Disability” is defined in the Act as the
inability to “engage in 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 ...