United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
BRADLEY MURRAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Tyrone Orange brings this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3), seeking judicial review
of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
(“the Commissioner”) denying his claim for
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), based on
disability, under Title XVI of the Act. The parties have
consented to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Magistrate
Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), for all
proceedings in this Court. (Doc. 20 (“In accordance
with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 636(c) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 73,
the parties in this case consent to have a United States
Magistrate Judge conduct any and all proceedings in this
case, … order the entry of a final judgment, and
conduct all post-judgment proceedings.”)). See
also Doc. 22. Upon consideration of the administrative
record, Orange's brief, the Commissioner's brief, and
the arguments made at the hearing on January 30, 2018 before
the undersigned Magistrate Judge, it is determined that the
Commissioner's decision denying benefits should be
applied for SSI, based on disability, under Title XVI of the
Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381-1383d, on April 3, 2014,
alleging disability beginning on October 19, 1990. (Tr. 169).
His application was denied at the initial level of
administrative review on July 9, 2014. (Tr. 86). On August
11, 2014, Orange requested a hearing by an Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ). (Tr. 93). During the initial hearing that was
held on December 18, 2015, the ALJ stated that she would
order a consultative psychological evaluation of Orange. (Tr.
62). After the evaluation was performed, a supplemental
hearing was held on May 17, 2016. (Tr. 37). After the
hearing, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision finding that
Orange was not under a disability from the date the
application was filed through the date of the decision,
October 28, 2016. (Tr. 17-31). Orange appealed the ALJ's
decision to the Appeals Council, and, on May 16, 2017, the
Appeals Council denied his request for review of the
ALJ's decision, thereby making the ALJ's decision the
final decision of the Commissioner. (Tr. 1-5).
exhausting his administrative remedies, Orange sought
judicial review in this Court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g) and 1383(c). (Doc. 1). The Commissioner
filed an answer and the social security transcript on
September 18, 2017. (Docs. 10, 11). Both parties filed briefs
setting forth their respective positions. (Docs. 12, 18).
Oral argument was held on January 30, 2017. (Doc. 21). The
case is now ripe for decision.
CLAIM ON APPEAL
alleges that the ALJ's decision to deny him benefits is
in error for the following reason:
ALJ erred by failing to properly evaluate whether his
impairment is of a severity to meet or equal Listing 12.05C.
(Doc. 12 at pp. 1-2).
was born on October 19, 1982, and was 31 years old at the
time he filed his claim for benefits. (Tr. 185). Orange
initially alleged disability due to emotional issues and
mental retardation. (Tr.190, 195). Orange was in special
education classes and dropped out of school after
8th grade. (Tr. 191). He has never worked. (Tr.
190). Orange handles his personal care (although
there is some evidence not always well). (Tr. 198; 315). He
has never cooked or done any inside or outside household
chores. (Tr. 199-200). He does not have a driver's
license because he cannot read. (Tr. 200). He stated that he
spends time on a daily basis walking, watching television, or
playing basketball. (Tr. 201). He stated in his Function
Report that he has problems getting along with family,
friends, and others because he gets confused and very
depressed and that he has problems paying attention,
following instructions, and getting along with authority
figures. (Tr. 202-03). After conducting two hearings, the ALJ
made a determination that Orange had not been under a
disability during the relevant time period, and thus, was not
entitled to benefits. (Tr.17-31).
considering all of the evidence, the ALJ made the following
findings that are relevant to the issues presented in her
November 2, 2016 decision:
1. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
borderline intellectual functioning; personality disorder;
and history of substance abuse, not material (20 CFR
The claimant's impairments are severe because they impose
upon him more than minimal functional limitations.
2. 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 416.920(d), 416.925 and
The objective record before the undersigned fails to contain
the objective findings and clinical signs set forth in any of
the listing sections pertaining to the claimant's severe
The severity of the claimant's mental impairments,
considered singly and in combination, do not meet or
medically equal the criteria of ...