United States District Court, District of Columbia
DEBORAH A. ROBINSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Winston McCallum, Jr. commenced this action against the
then-Acting Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (“Administration”), pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 405(g) and 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3), seeking
reversal of an Administrative Law Judge's decision
denying Plaintiffs application for Supplemental Security
Income benefits. Complaint at 1, ¶ 1 (ECF No. 1). This
action initially was referred to this court for Report and
Recommendation. Order at 1, ¶ 1-2 (ECF No. 4). Upon
notice and consent of the parties, this action was assigned
to this court for all purposes pursuant to Local Civil Rule
73.1. Notice, Consent, and Reference of a Civil Action to a
Magistrate (ECF No. 16).
pending for determination are Plaintiffs Motion for Judgment
of Reversal (“Plaintiffs Motion”) (ECF No. 13)
and Defendant's Motion for Judgment of Affirmance
(“Defendant's Motion”) (ECF No. 14). Upon
consideration of the motions, the memoranda in support
thereof and in opposition thereto, and the entire record
herein, the court will deny Defendant's motion, and grant
Plaintiffs motion in part.
applied for Supplemental Security Income pursuant to Title
XVI of the Social Security Act. Administrative Record
(“AR”) at 155 (ECF No. 8-5). Plaintiff alleged
disability, beginning on June 1, 2006, attributable to
“Glycogenic and storage disease, ” enlarged heart
and liver, a vehicle accident, and loss of balance.
Id. at 195, 199. Defendant denied Plaintiff's
application for benefits on December 21, 2012, and Plaintiff
filed a request for reconsideration on January 11, 2013. AR
at 76 (ECF No. 8-3); 103 (ECF No. 8-4). Thereafter, Defendant
considered Plaintiff's request for reconsideration and
found the previous determination denying the claim proper
under the law. AR at 104 (ECF No. 8-4).
1, 2013, Plaintiff filed a request for a hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge. Id. at 107. A hearing was
held on September 11, 2014 before Administrative Law Judge
Michael A. Krasnow (“ALJ”). Id. at 40.
On March 26, 2015, the ALJ rendered an unfavorable decision.
AR at 16 (ECF No. 8-2). In the decision, the ALJ employed a
five-step process to determine whether Plaintiff was
disabled. Id. at 20, ¶ 1. The ALJ made ten
findings of fact and conclusions of law: (1) Plaintiff has
not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July 3,
2012; (2) Plaintiff has severe impairments; (3) Plaintiff
does not have an impairment or combination of impairments
that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the
listed impairments; (4) Plaintiff has the residual functional
capacity to perform light work, except that he requires a
cane for walking long distances or on uneven surface; (5)
Plaintiff has no past relevant work; (6) while Plaintiff was
defined as a “younger” individual at the time he
filed his application, he subsequently changed his age
category to “closely approaching advanced age”;
(7) Plaintiff has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English; (8) transferability of job
skills is not an issue because Plaintiff does not have past
relevant work; (9) jobs exist in significant numbers in the
national economy that Plaintiff can perform, and (10)
Plaintiff has not been under a disability as defined in the
Social Security Act since the date the application was filed.
Id. at 19-35.
April 10, 2015, Plaintiff's counsel requested review by
the Appeals Council of the denial of the disability claim by
the ALJ. AR at 15 (ECF No. 8-2). Plaintiff's counsel
filed a representative brief on behalf of Plaintiff on June
15, 2015. Id. at 4. On May 17, 2016, the Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of the
ALJ's March 26, 2015 decision. Id. at 1.
commenced the instant action by filing a complaint in the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
See Complaint (ECF No. 1).
Social Security Act of 1935 established a framework to
provide disability insurance and supplemental security income
to individuals who have reached age 65, who are blind, or
disabled. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 423, 1381,
1381a. The Act defines “disability” for non-blind
individuals as “inability to engage in 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.” 42
U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A); 20 C.F.R. § 416.605. A
“disabled” individual is eligible for
supplemental security income if he or she meets additional
statutory requirements concerning income and resources. 42
U.S.C. § 1382(a). The Administration has promulgated
regulations, pursuant to the Act, outlining a five-step
process for determining whether adult claimants are disabled.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920.
the Administration evaluates whether the claimant is
“doing substantial gainful activity.” 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(a)(4)(i), (b); 416.920(a)(4)(i), (b).
If so, the Administration concludes that the claimant is not
if the claimant is not engaged in substantial gainful
activity, the Administration determines whether the claimant
has a “severe medically determinable physical or
medical impairment that meets the duration requirement . . .
or a combination of impairments that is severe and meets the
duration requirement. . .” 20 C.F.R. §§
if the claimant's impairment is deemed
“severe” under the second step, the next question
becomes whether the impairment “meets or equals one of
the listings” in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1525(a). 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iii), 416.920(a)(4)(iii).
The “listing” refers to a “listing of
impairments” which “describes for each of the
major body system impairments that [the Administration]
consider[s] to be severe enough to prevent an individual from
doing any gainful activity, regardless of his or her age,
education, or work experience.” 20 C.F.R. §
if the claimant's impairment does not meet or exceed one
of the listings under step three, the Administration assesses
the claimant's “residual functional capacity”
to determine whether the claimant is still capable of
performing “past relevant work.” 20 C.F.R. §
404.1520. A claimant's residual functional capacity is
“the most [an individual] can still do despite [his or
her] limitations.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545. If the