United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
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 action is proceeding before the
undersigned by voluntary consent pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(c) and Fed. R. Civ. Proc. R. 73.
filed his application for DIB and SSI on September 14, 2012,
alleging inability to work since February 1, 2009. (Tr. 195).
His claims were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a request for a hearing. A
hearing was held on August 27, 2014, at which time Plaintiff
testified. A vocational expert (VE) was not present. The
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an unfavorable decision
on October 29, 2014, finding that Plaintiff was not disabled
within the meaning of the Act. (Tr. 195-202). Plaintiff filed
a request for review of the ALJ's decision, which the
Appeals Council granted and remanded to the ALJ on January
28, 2016. On May 26, 2016, another hearing was held. The ALJ
issued an unfavorable decision on March 16, 2017, finding
Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Act.
(Tr. 17-28). Plaintiff filed a request for review of the
ALJ's decision, which the Appeals Council denied on
August 10, 2017, making the ALJ's decision the
Commissioner's final decision. (Tr. 1-4). Plaintiff filed
this action on October 6, 2017.
Plaintiff's Introductory Facts
was born on December 17, 1962, and was approximately
forty-six years old at the time of the alleged onset. (Tr.
98). Plaintiff completed his education through at least high
school and has past work experience as security technician
and retail associate. (Tr. 27). Plaintiff alleges disability
initially due to AIDS and anger issues. (Tr. 162). Pertinent
testimony and records will be summarized under the relevant
The ALJ's Decision
decision of March 16, 2017, the ALJ made the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law (Tr. 17-28):
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2014.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since February 1, 2009, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq. and 416.971 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and peripheral neuropathy(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, I find
that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) and
416.967(c) except he would be limited to frequent handling
6. The claimant is able to perform past relevant work (20 CFR
404.1565 and 416.965).
7. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from February 1, 2009, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and