United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
BRADLEY MURRAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Carlynda Dickinson brings this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§1383(c)(3), seeking judicial review of a final decision
of the Commissioner of Social Security denying her claim for
supplemental security income. 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. 21 (“In accordance with 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. 23 (endorsed
order of reference)). Upon consideration of the
administrative record, Plaintiff's brief, and the
Commissioner's brief,  the Court concludes that the
Commissioner's decision denying benefits should be
reversed and remanded for further proceedings not
inconsistent with this decision.
protectively filed an application for supplemental security
income on January 9, 2015, alleging disability beginning on
December 17, 2014. (Compare Tr. 167-72 with
Tr. 15.) Dickinson's claim was initially denied on April
2, 2015 (Tr. 93 & 97-100) and, following Plaintiff's
April 23, 2015 written request for a hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) (see
Tr. 101-04), a hearing was conducted before an ALJ on August
15, 2016 (Tr. 39-78). On November 21, 2016, the ALJ issued a
decision finding that the claimant was not disabled and,
therefore, not entitled to supplemental security income. (Tr.
15-34.) More specifically, the ALJ proceeded to the fifth
step of the five-step sequential evaluation process and
determined that Dickinson retains the residual functional
capacity to perform those light jobs identified by the
vocational expert (“VE”) during the
administrative hearing (compare Id. at 33
with Tr. 72-73). And, after the Plaintiff appealed
the ALJ's unfavorable decision to the Appeals Council,
the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review
on September 15, 2017 (Tr. 1-3). Thus, the hearing decision
became the final decision of the Commissioner of Social
alleges disability due to peripheral neuropathy, low back
pain, knee pain, calluses on her feet, depression and
anxiety, intellectual disability, and obesity. The
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) made the following relevant
2. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
peripheral neuropathy, low back pain, diabetes mellitus,
vision impairment, depression, anxiety, intellectual
disability and slow learner, and obesity (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
. . .
3. 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 416.926).
. . .
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 416.967(b) except the claimant can lift and carry 10
pounds frequently and 20 pounds occasionally. She should have
a sit/stand option every 30 minutes, if needed. She can
climb; occasionally stoop, balance, kneel, crouch, and crawl;
but never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She can
frequently reach and she can occasionally use her upper and
lower extremities bilaterally for pushing and pulling. She
requires a cane for an assistive device. She should avoid
concentrated exposure to extreme cold, extreme heat, wetness,
and humidity. She should avoid all exposure to hazardous
conditions, such as unprotected heights, dangerous machinery,
and uneven surfaces. She has no visual or communicative
limitations. She is expected to have 1-2 unplanned absences
monthly due to her condition. She is restricted to unskilled
work with no more than simple, short instructions and simple
work-related decisions with few work place changes. In
addition, she is limited to low stress work requiring only
simple, work-related decisions with few work place changes.
Due to concentration issues, the claimant is unable to work
in close proximity to others and she is easily distracted.
. . .
5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).
6. The claimant was born on November 15, 1980 and was 34
years old, which is defined as a younger individual age
18-49, on the date the application was ...