United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. McDonald United States Magistrate Judge.
case is before the court for a report and recommendation
pursuant to Local Civ. 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
plaintiff brought this action pursuant to Sections 205(g) and
1631(c)(3) of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C.
405(g) and 1383(c)(3)), to obtain judicial review of a final
decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying her
claims for disability insurance benefits and supplemental
security income benefits under Titles II and XVI of the
Social Security Act.
plaintiff filed an application for disability insurance
benefits (“DIB”) on August 12, 2014, and an
application for supplemental security income
(“SSI”) on December 4, 2014 (Tr. 232, 1063) . In
both applications, the plaintiff alleged that she became
unable to work on June 21, 2014. The applications were denied
initially and on reconsideration by the Social Security
Administration. On May 13, 2015, the plaintiff requested a
hearing. The administrative law judge (“ALJ”),
before whom the plaintiff Robert E. Brabham, Jr., an
impartial vocational expert, appeared on March 10, 2017,
considered the case de novo, and on May 3, 2017,
found that the plaintiff was not under a disability as
defined in the Social Security Act, as amended (Tr. 129-39).
The ALJ's finding became the final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security when the Appeals Council
denied the plaintiff's request for review on March 16,
2018 (Tr. 1-4). The plaintiff then filed this action for
making the determination that the plaintiff is not entitled
to benefits, the Commissioner has adopted the following
findings of the ALJ:
(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 June 21, 2014, the alleged onset date (20
C.F.R §§ 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971
(3) The claimant has the following severe impairments: lumbar
and cervical degenerative disc disease, status-post cervical
fusion; degenerative joint disease involving bilateral knees;
dysfunction left shoulder joint; obesity (20 C.F.R.
§§ 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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart
P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. §§ 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 sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except never balancing, kneeling,
or crawling and occasional climbing ramps/stairs, stooping,
or crouching and no overhead reaching with bilateral upper
(6) The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1565 and 416.965).
(7) The claimant was born on December 29, 1969, and was 44
years old, which is defined as a younger individual age
18-44, on the alleged disability onset date. The claimant
subsequently changed age category to a younger individual age
45-49 (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1563 and 416.963).
(8) The claimant has a limited education and is able to
communicate in English (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1564 and
(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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
(10) Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform (20 C.F.R. §§
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 June 21, 2014, through the
date of this decision (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(g) and
only issues before the court are whether proper legal
standards were applied and whether the final decision of the