United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
STEPHEN B. EARLEY, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security,  Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Patrick Auld, United States Magistrate Judge
Stephen B. Earley, brought this 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”).
(Docket Entry 1.) Defendant has filed the certified
administrative record (Docket Entry 12 (cited herein as
“Tr. ___”)), and both parties have moved for
judgment (Docket Entries 15, 17; see also Docket Entry 16
(Plaintiff's Brief); Docket Entry 18 (Defendant's
Memorandum). For the reasons that follow, the Court should
remand this matter for further administrative proceedings.
applied for DIB, alleging a disability onset date of November
1, 2006. (Tr. 145-51.) Upon denial of that application
initially (Tr. 62-69, 78-81) and on reconsideration (Tr.
70-77, 84-87), Plaintiff requested a hearing de novo before
an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) (Tr. 91-92).
Plaintiff, his attorney, and a vocational expert
(“VE”) attended the hearing. (Tr. 26-61.) The ALJ
subsequently ruled that Plaintiff did not qualify as disabled
under the Act. (Tr. 10-21.) The Appeals Council thereafter
denied Plaintiff's request for review (Tr. 1-6, 9,
141-44), thereby making the ALJ's ruling the
Commissioner's final decision for purposes of judicial
rendering that decision, the ALJ made the following findings:
1. [Plaintiff] last met the insured status requirements of
the . . . Act on September 30, 2010.
2. [Plaintiff] stated that he did not engage in substantial
gainful activity during the period from his alleged onset
date of November 1, 2006 through his date last insured of
September 30, 2010.
. . .
3. Through the date last insured, [Plaintiff] had the
following severe impairments: migraines and chronic pain
. . .
4. Through the date last insured, [Plaintiff] did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
. . .
5. . . . [T]hrough the date last insured, [Plaintiff] had the
residual functional capacity to perform a full range of work
at all exertional levels but with the following nonexertional
limitations: [Plaintiff] is limited to simple, routine, and
repetitive tasks due to pain.
. . .
6. Through the date last insured, [Plaintiff] was capable of
performing past relevant work as a Dump Truck Driver. This
work did not require the performance of work-related
activities precluded by ...