United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division
RONALD O. PENNINGTON, JR., Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
CHARLES J. KAHN, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case is before the court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
for review of the final determination of the Commissioner of
Social Security (“Commissioner”) denying Ronald
Pennington Jr.'s applications for Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social
Security Act (“Act”), 42 U.S.C. §§
401-34, and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”)
under Title XVI, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381-33. The parties
consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73
for all proceedings in this case, including entry of final
judgment. Upon de novo review of the record before
the court, I conclude the Commissioner did not err by
declining to remand Pennington's case to the ALJ after
the Appeals Council received Dr. Groom's evaluation. The
decision of the Commissioner, therefore, will be affirmed and
the applications for DIB and SSI denied.
Pennington, who will be referred to as claimant, plaintiff,
or by name, claims the Appeals Council erred by failing to
remand the case to the ALJ for consideration of new and
material evidence. (Doc. 9).
4, 2014, plaintiff protectively filed applications for DIB
and SSI, claiming disability beginning January 1, 2007, due
to “head injury/headaches, ”
“learning/can't stay focused, ” and asthma.
T. 73, 83. The Commissioner denied the applications
initially and on reconsideration. T. 93-94, 116-17. After a
hearing on February 23, 2016, the ALJ found claimant not
disabled under the Act. T. 26-34, 40. Claimant requested
review by the Appeals Council and submitted additional
medical evidence. T. 1-4. The Appeals Council denied the
request for further review on May 24, 2017, and, as a result,
the ALJ's decision became the final determination of the
Commissioner. T. 1-4. The Commissioner's determination is
now before the court for review.
OF THE ALJ
written decision, the ALJ made several findings relative to
the issues raised in this appeal:
• Claimant meets the insured status requirements of the
Act through June 30, 2013. T. 28.
• Claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since January 1, 2007, the alleged onset date. T.
• Claimant has one severe impairment, asthma. T. 28.
• Claimant has the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform a reduced range of light work
as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b). Claimant can lift/carry 10 pounds frequently and
20 pounds occasionally; sit for a total of about 6 hours in
an 8-hour workday; stand/walk for a total of about 6 hours in
an 8-hour workday; should avoid concentrated exposure to
fumes, odors, dusts, gases, poor ventilation, etc.; and avoid
concentrated exposure to hazards (machinery, heights, etc.).
• Claimant is capable of performing past relevant work
as a security guard. Alternatively, he is capable of
performing work as a silver wrapper, electrical assembler,
and merchandise marker. T. 32-33.
• Claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Act, from January 1, 2007, through ...