United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Patrick Auld United States Magistrate Judge.
Valerie Dene Jones, brought this pro se action pursuant to
the Social Security Act (the “Act”) to obtain
judicial review of a final decision of Defendant, the Acting
Commissioner of Social Security, denying Plaintiff's
claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”)
and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). (Docket
Entry 2.) Defendant has filed the certified administrative
record (Docket Entry 9 (cited herein as “Tr. ”)),
and both parties have moved for judgment (Docket Entries 12,
13; see also Docket Entry 14 (Defendant's Memorandum)).
For the reasons that follow, the Court should enter judgment
applied for DIB and SSI. (Tr. 93-100.) Upon denial of those
applications initially (Tr. 28-38, 51-54) and on
reconsideration (Tr. 39-50, 60-62),  Plaintiff requested a
hearing de novo before an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) (Tr. 63-64). Plaintiff, proceeding pro
se, and a vocational expert (“VE”) attended the
hearing. (Tr. 900-17.) The ALJ subsequently ruled that
Plaintiff did not qualify as disabled under the Act. (Tr.
582-94.) The Appeals Council granted Plaintiff's request
for review, and remanded the case for further consideration
of new evidence and a consultative examiner's opinion.
(Tr. 595-99, 600.)
her attorney, and a VE attended a second hearing before a
different ALJ (Tr. 875-99), and that ALJ issued a decision
finding Plaintiff not disabled under the Act (Tr. 13-27). The
Appeals Council thereafter denied Plaintiff's request for
review (Tr. 9-12, 872-74), thereby making the ALJ's
ruling the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of
rendering that disability determination, the ALJ made the
following findings later adopted by the Commissioner:
1. [Plaintiff] meets the insured status requirements of the
 Act through June 30, 2014.
2. [Plaintiff] has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since December 31, 2010, the alleged onset date.
3. [Plaintiff] has the following severe impairments:
[c]hronic back and neck strain; left knee pain; essential
hypertension; obesity and anxiety.
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,
5. . . . [Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to
perform light work . . . except [she] can stand/walk a total
of six hours and sit a total of six hours in an 8-hour
workday. [Plaintiff] can occasionally climb, balance, kneel,
crouch and crouch [sic]. [Plaintiff] is further limited to
simple routine tasks.
6. [Plaintiff] is unable to perform any past relevant work.
10. Considering [Plaintiff's] age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant No. in the national economy that
[Plaintiff] can perform.
11. [Plaintiff] has not been under a disability, as defined
in the  Act, from December 31, 2010, through the date of
(Tr. 18-27 (bold font and internal parenthetical citations
law “authorizes judicial review of the Social Security
Commissioner's denial of social security benefits.”
Hines v. Barnhart,453 F.3d 559, 561 (4th Cir.
2006). However, “the scope of [the Court's] review
of [such a] decision . . . is extremely limited.”
Frady v. Harris,646 F.2d 143, 144 (4th Cir. 1981).