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O'Mahony v. Colvin

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

June 3, 2015

JERRY D. O'MAHONY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

L. PATRICK AULD, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Jerry O'Mahony, brought this action pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g)), to obtain judicial review of a final decision of Defendant, the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, denying Plaintiff's claims for a period of disability and Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act (the "Act"), and for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Act. (See Docket Entry 1.) The Court has before it the certified administrative record (cited herein as "Tr. ___"). Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket Entry 9) and Defendant has filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Docket Entry 13). For the reasons that follow, the Court should remand the matter for further consideration.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff applied for DIB, a period of disability, and SSI, with an amended onset date of July 11, 2011. (Tr. 192-94, 195-99.) After denial of his application, both initially (Tr. 92, 93) and on reconsideration (Tr. 118, 119), Plaintiff requested a hearing de novo before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") (Tr. 147-48). Plaintiff, his attorney, and a vocational expert attended the hearing. (Tr. 26-71.) The ALJ thereafter determined that Plaintiff did not qualify as disabled within the meaning of the Act. (Tr. 16-25.) The Appeals Council subsequently denied Plaintiff's request for review, thereby making the ALJ's determination the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of judicial review. (Tr. 1-3.)

In rendering that disability ruling, the ALJ made the following findings later adopted by the Commissioner:

1. [Plaintiff] meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2012.
2. [Plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 11, 2011, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq., and 416.971 et seq .).
3. [Plaintiff] has the following severe impairments: pancreatitis and anemia (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
...
4. [Plaintiff] 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.... [Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except that [Plaintiff] is limited to occasional balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling. He should avoid concentrated exposure to hazardous conditions.

(Tr. 18-21.)

In light of the foregoing findings regarding residual functional capacity, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff could perform his past relevant work as an auto part salesperson. (Tr. 23.) Alternatively, the ALJ noted that a significant number of other jobs existed in the national market that he could perform. (Tr. 23-24.) Accordingly, the ALJ ruled that Plaintiff did not have a disability, as ...


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