United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
BRADLEY MURRAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
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 denying his claims for
a period of disability, disability insurance benefits, and
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. (Docs. 22 & 23 (“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.”)). Upon consideration
of the administrative record, Plaintiff’s brief, and
the Commissioner’s brief,  it is determined that the
Commissioner’s decision denying benefits should be
2, 2016, Plaintiff “protectively” filed
applications for a period of disability, disability insurance
benefits, and supplemental security income, alleging
disability beginning on May 1, 2011. (Compare Tr.
167-174 with Tr. 15). Pritchett’s claims were
initially denied on May 27, 2016 (Tr. 97-113) and, following
Plaintiff’s June 15 or 21, 2016 request for a hearing
before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
(see Tr. 105-07), a hearing was conducted before an
ALJ on October 12, 2017 (Tr. 28-52). During that hearing,
Plaintiff, through counsel, amended his disability onset date
to the protective filing date of May 2, 2016 (Tr. 53;
compare Id . with Tr. 15 (recognizing that Pritchett
amended his alleged onset date to May 2, 2016)). On January
24, 2018, the ALJ issued a decision finding that the claimant
was not disabled and, therefore, not entitled to a period of
disability, disability insurance benefits, or supplemental
security income. (Tr. 15-23). More specifically, the ALJ
proceeded to the fifth step of the five-step sequential
evaluation process and determined that Pritchett retains the
residual functional capacity to perform those light jobs
identified by the vocational expert (“VE”) during
the administrative hearing (compare Id . at 22-23
with Tr. 46, 48-50 & 52). Plaintiff appealed the
ALJ’s unfavorable decision to the Appeals Council on
February 19, 2018 (see Tr. 164-66); the Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff’s request for review on August
14, 2018 (Tr. 1-3). Thus, the hearing decision became the
final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security.
alleges disability due to diabetes mellitus, hypertension,
arthritis, obesity, and gout. The Administrative Law Judge
(ALJ) made the following relevant findings:
1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements
of the Social Security Act through December 31,
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since May 2, 2016, the amended alleged onset
date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et
. . .
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments:
diabetes mellitus; hypertension; arthritis; obesity; and gout
(20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(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,
404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
. . .
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) and 416.967(b) except the claimant can
occasionally push and/or pull foot controls with the left
lower extremity; frequently reach overhead with the left
upper extremity; frequent bilateral handling and fingering;
occasionally climbing ramps and stairs, balancing, stooping,
kneeling, crouching and crawling; never climbing ladders and
scaffolds; never work in an environment of unprotected
heights or around hazardous moving mechanical parts; the
claimant should not operate a motor vehicle for commercial
purposes; should have a sit and/or stand option with an
ability to alternate sitting, standing and/or walking in
1-hour increments throughout the workday while remaining on
task; and would be off task for no more than 10 percent of
the time during an 8hour workday due to bathroom
. . .
6. The claimant is unable to perform any past
relevant work (20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965).
. . .
7. The claimant was born on June 23, 1969 and was
4 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 has a limited education and is able
to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564 and
9. Transferability of job skills is not an issue in
this case because the claimant’s past relevant work is
unskilled (20 CFR 404.1568 and 416.968).
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,
404.1569(a), 416.969, and 416.969(a)).
. . .
11. The claimant has not been under a disability, as
defined in the Social Security Act, from May 2, 2016, through
the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and
(Tr. 17, 18, 19, 21, 22 & 23 (emphasis in original)).
Standard of Review ...