United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Middle Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. BURKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 27, 2017, Plaintiff, Rolando Perez Sanic, filed a
complaint (Doc. 1) seeking judicial review of an adverse
final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (“the Commissioner”) pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 405(g). On April 6, 2018, Plaintiff filed a
brief in support (Doc. 9). On April 25, 2018, the
Commissioner filed a Memorandum in Support (Doc. 10).
Therefore, this matter is ripe for review. For the reasons
stated below, the final decision of the Commissioner is
April 21, 2014, plaintiff filed application for benefits
under Title II for a period of disability and disability
insurance benefits under the Social Security Act alleging
February 17, 2014, as his onset of disability. On February
18, 2016, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”),
Bruce W. MacKenzie, conducted a video hearing. The ALJ
presided in Birmingham and the plaintiff appeared in Gadsden,
Alabama. (Tr. 23). Plaintiff, his attorney, an interpreter,
and vocational expert (“VE”) were present at the
hearing. (Id.). On August 31, 2016, the ALJ issued
his decision. In doing so, the ALJ engaged in the five-step
sequential evaluation process promulgated by the Commissioner
to determine whether an individual is disabled. (Id.
at 23-38). The ALJ made the following findings:
1. Claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2018, but not
thereafter. (Id. at 25).
2. Claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since February 17, 2014, the alleged onset date (20 CFR
404.1571 et seq.). (Id.).
3. The claimant has the severe impairments of status post
anterior cervical and fusion with post laminectomy syndrome;
lumbar degenerative disc disease with LS disc bulge with
stenosis; left shoulder AC arthritis and tendinosis; migraine
headaches; and, vertigo (20 CFR 404.1520(c)). (Id.).
4. 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 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart
P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526).
(Id. at 32).
5. 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 404.1567(b) except he would require a sit/stand option
with the retained ability to stay on or at a workstation in
no less than 30 minute increments each without significant
reduction of remaining on task. He is able to ambulate short
distances up to 100 yards per instance on flat hard surfaces.
He is able to frequently use left hand controls and his left
hand is non-dominant. He is able to frequently reach overhead
with the left non-dominant hand; can frequently climb ramps
and stairs, but never climb ladders or scaffolds; and can
occasionally stoop, crouch, kneel, and crawl. He would be
restricted from performing quick, rapid, or repetitive
movements of the head to the left, right, up, or down, but
can perform in occupations where head and neck movements are
slow and self-paced. He should never be exposed to
unprotected heights or operate commercial motor vehicles;
would be limited to routine and repetitive tasks and simple
work-related decisions; and in addition to normal workday
breaks, he would be off task five percent of an eight hour
workday (non-consecutive minutes). (Id. at 32-33).
6. The claimant is unable to perform any of the
claimant's past relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565).
(Id. at 36).
7. The claimant was born on June 15, 1976 and was 37 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 may not be able to communicate in English,
and will be considered in the same way as an individual who
is illiterate in English (20 CFR 404.1564). (Id.).
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). (Id.).
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 February 17, 2014, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g)). (Id.
requested an appeal to the Appeals Council, which denied his
request for review on July 26, 2017. (Tr. 1). At that point,
the ALJ's decision became the final decision of the
Commissioner. Henry v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 802
F.3d 1264, 1267 (11th Cir. 2015). Plaintiff then filed this
action on September 27, 2017. (Doc. 1).
Social Security Act authorizes payment of disability
insurance benefits and supplemental social security income to
persons with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. §§ 423, 1381
(2012). The law defines disability as the “inability to
do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any
medically determinable physical or mental impairment which
can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can
be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than
12 months.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1505(a),