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Raynes v. Saul

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division

December 3, 2019

Patty S. Raynes, Plaintiff,
v.
Andrew M. Saul, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell Chief United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Patty S. Raynes seeks judicial review, pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 405(g)), of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the “Commissioner”) denying her claim for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”). The matter is before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald, made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) for the District of South Carolina. The Magistrate Judge recommends the Court remand Ms. Raynes's case back to the Commissioner for further proceedings. [ECF No. 23]. The Commissioner filed an objection to the R&R, and Plaintiff filed her reply. [ECF No. 25; ECF No. 26]. This Court now issues the following Order.

         Factual Findings and Procedural History

         Raynes filed an application for DIB on January 21, 2016, alleging she became unable to work due to major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD, and other social and mental disorders. The R&R adequately sets forth Raynes's medical evidence as presented in the record. Briefly stated, the medical records reveal that Raynes has sought treatment during the covered period for anxiety and other mental disorders, as well as migraines. Raynes exhibited depressive symptoms and was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, and she endorsed symptoms of PTSD. She complained of work-related problems, poor judgment, restlessness, and defiant behavior. She continued to suffer from a host of mental impairments over the course of several years.

         After her application was denied initially and on reconsideration, Raynes requested a hearing. On October 4, 2017, both Raynes and an impartial vocational expert (“VE”) were present for a hearing. The ALJ gave an unfavorable decision to Raynes on December 20, 2017, finding Raynes was not under a disability. The ALJ's findings were as follows:

(1) The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2020.
(2) The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since December 15, 2015, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
(3) The claimant has the following severe impairments: affective disorder; anxiety disorder; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; and borderline personality disorder (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, I find the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following nonexertional limitations: only simple, routine, and repetitive tasks but not at a production rate pace (e.g., assembly line work); only simple work-related decisions; no more than occasional ability to respond appropriately to co-workers; no work involving team-type duties; no ability to respond appropriately to the public; and the ability to tolerate only few changes in a routine work setting defined as having only occasional, routine changes in the work setting and duties.
(6) The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
(7) The claimant was born on October 9, 1956 and was 59 years old, which is defined as an individual of advanced age, on the alleged disability 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).
(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 trasnferable job ...

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