United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., Chief Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MCCANN KING, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
an action instituted under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) for review of a final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security denying Plaintiff's application for a
period of disability and disability insurance benefits. This
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Judgment on the Administrative Record (Doc. No.
12)(“Motion for Judgment”) and Brief in Support
of Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record (Doc.
13)(“Brief in Support”), Defendant's Response
to Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Administrative
Record (Doc. No. 14)(“Response”), and the
administrative record (Doc. No. 10). For the following reasons,
the undersigned RECOMMENDS that the Motion
for Judgment (Doc. 12) be GRANTED, and that
the matter be REMANDED to the Commissioner,
pursuant to Sentence 6 of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), for
consideration of new and material evidence.
filed his application for benefits on May 11, 2013, alleging
that he has been disabled since December 14, 2012. Tr. 190.
The application was denied initially and on reconsideration
and Plaintiff requested a de novo hearing before an
administrative law judge (“ALJ”). On May 18,
2015, Plaintiff, represented by counsel, appeared and
testified at that hearing, as did Edward M. Smith, who
testified as a vocational expert. Tr. 85-114. In a decision
dated July 1, 2015, the ALJ held that Plaintiff was not
disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act at any
time from his alleged date of onset of disability to the date
of the administrative decision. Tr. 67-79. That decision
became the final decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security when the Appeals Council declined review on June 17,
2016. Tr.1-4. In declining review, the Appeals Council noted
the submission of additional medical evidence that was
generated after the date of the ALJ's decision. However,
the Appeals Council concluded that the new evidence
“does not affect the decision about whether you were
disabled beginning on or before” the date of the
ALJ's decision. Tr. 2.
Findings and Conclusions of the ALJ
decision, the ALJ made the following findings of fact and
conclusions of law:
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 December 14, 2012, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease; arthropathies; bilateral carpal
tunnel syndrome; and obesity (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
that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to
perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a). The
claimant can lift and carry, push and pull 10 pounds
occasionally and less than 10 pounds frequently, with
frequent upper extremity pushing and pulling. With normal
breaks in an eight-hour day, he can sit for six hours and
stand and/or walk for a total of four hours; can never crouch
or crawl; can occasionally balance, kneel and stoop; can
frequently climb ramps, stairs, ladders, ropes and scaffolds;
and with his bilateral upper extremities, he can frequently
reach overhead, handle and finger.
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565).
7. The claimant was born on January 9, 1970 and was 42 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
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 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 and
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, from December 14, 2012, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g)).
Tr. 69-70, 77-79.