United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
GORDON BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Sanford McGill seeks judicial review of the Commissioner of
Social Security Administration's final decision denying
his claim for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental
Security Income under the Social Security Act. This matter
was referred to the Magistrate Judge for a Report and
Recommendation under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local
Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(a) (D.S.C.). For the following
reasons, the undersigned recommends reversing and remanding
for further consideration.
case arises out of McGill's second unsuccessful
disability claim. His first claim was denied in January 2015,
when he was found to be not disabled. (R. 78-99.) Two months
later, he filed the claim at issue here. He alleged disabling
conditions including a pinched nerve, a right knee
impairment, and a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
(R. 255-67, 288.)
application was denied, so he asked for a hearing before an
administrative law judge (“ALJ”). (R. 151-67.)
The ALJ held a hearing, in which McGill and a vocational
expert testified. (R. 33-77.) The ALJ then issued a decision
that McGill was not entitled to benefits. (R. 15-26.) The ALJ
found that, although McGill had impairments restricting him
to a reduced range of light work, he was not disabled because
he could perform three other jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy. (R. 20-26.)
asked the Appeals Council to review the ALJ's decision.
(R. 253-54.) The Appeals Council denied his request, making
the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision
for purposes of judicial review. (R. 1-6.) By denying the
request, the Commissioner (through the Appeals Council)
adopted the following findings from the ALJ:
(1) The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through June 30, 2015.
(2) The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since July 23, 2012, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq.).
(3) The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease (DDD); mallet toe, post-surgery on
the left, with osteoarthritis; osteoarthritis (OA) of the
bilateral knees; and depression (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and
(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 light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) and
416.967(c) except that he could lift and/or carry 20 pounds
occasionally and ten pounds frequently. He could sit for six
hours, stand for six hours, and walk for six hours. He could
push and pull as much as he could lift/carry, except he could
operate foot controls with his bilateral feet frequently. As
for postural maneuvers, he could climb ramps and stairs
frequently and climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds
occasionally. Additionally, he could balance, stoop, kneel,
crouch, and crawl occasionally. He could frequently work
around unprotected heights and moving mechanical parts. He is
capable of ambulating with the use of an assistive device.
Lastly, regarding mental capacity, he could sustain
concentration, persistence and pace sufficient to perform
simple, routine tasks.
(6) The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
(7) The claimant was born on December 7, 1979 and was 32
years old, which is defined as a younger individual age
18-49, 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 are 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 July 23, 2012, through the
date of this decision ...