United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ARNOLD SANSONE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Bigica, III seeks judicial review of a decision by the
Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner) denying his
claim Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental
Security Income Benefits (SSI) under the Social Security Act,
42 U.S.C. Section 405(g). After reviewing the record,
including a transcript of the proceedings before the
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), administrative record,
pleadings, and the parties' joint memorandum, the
Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED.
October 15, 2012, Mr. Bigica applied for DIB and SSI due to
alleged disability beginning on February 13, 2019. (Tr.
200-14). Mr. Bigica's claim was denied initially and on
reconsideration. (Tr. 89-90). Mr. Bigica requested and
received a hearing before an ALJ, and the hearing was held on
October 15, 2014. (Tr. 34-62, 998-1026). The ALJ issued an
unfavorable decision on December 11, 2014. (Tr. 14-33). The
Appeals Council denied review of the ALJ's decision. (Tr.
1-4, 891- 94).
Bigica appealed the ALJ's decision to this court, who
remanded the claim for further consideration. (Tr. 698-711,
895-910). The ALJ held a subsequent hearing and issued an
unfavorable decision on May 18, 2018. (Tr. 638-63, 664-89).
Mr. Bigica requests review of the ALJ's May 18, 2018
decision in this court. (Doc. 1).
NATURE OF DISABILITY CLAIM
Bigica was forty-one years old on the alleged onset date and
fifty-one years old on the date of the ALJ's decision.
(Tr. 202, 226, 654). Mr. Bigica has a high school education
and past relevant work experience as a construction
superintendent. (Tr. 271, 684, 1114). Mr. Bigaca alleged
disability because of depression, sleep apnea neuropathy,
memory problems, post-traumatic stress syndrome, diabetes,
back pain, arthritis, neck fusion, high blood pressure,
hepatitis C, and right ankle problems. (Tr. 270, 1122).
Summary of the ALJ's Decision
must follow five steps when evaluating a claim for
disability. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a),
416.920(a). First, if a claimant is engaged in substantial
gainful activity,  he is not disabled. §§
404.1520(b), 416.920(b). Second, if a claimant has no
impairment or combination of impairments that significantly
limit his physical or mental ability to perform basic work
activities, he has no severe impairment and is not disabled.
§§ 404.1520(c), 416.920(c); see McDaniel v.
Bowen, 800 F.2d 1026, 1031 (11th Cir. 1986) (stating
that step two acts as a filter and “allows only claims
based on the most trivial impairments to be rejected”).
Third, if a claimant's impairments fail to meet or equal
an impairment in the Listings, he is not disabled.
§§ 404.1520(d), 416.920(d); 20 C.F.R. pt. 404,
subpt. P, app. 1. Fourth, if a claimant's impairments do
not prevent him from doing past relevant work, he is not
disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e), 416.920(e). At
this fourth step, the ALJ determines the claimant's
residual functional capacity (RFC). Fifth, if a claimant's
impairments (considering his RFC, age, education, and past
work) do not prevent him from performing work that exists in
the national economy, he is not disabled. §§
here determined Mr. Bigica did not engage in substantial
gainful activity since the onset date. (Tr. 643). The ALJ
found Mr. Bigica has these severe impairments: degenerative
disc disease, obesity, depression, anxiety, diabetes, venous
insufficiency, and sleep apnea. (Id.). However, the
ALJ found Mr. Bigica's impairments or combination of
impairments failed to meet or medically equal the severity of
an impairment in the Listings. (Tr. 644).
then found Mr. Bigica has the RFC to perform a full range of
light work,  except:
[Mr. Bigica] can lift up to twenty pounds occasionally and
lift and carry up to ten pounds frequently. [Mr. Bigica] can
stand and walk for six hours out of an eight-hour day with
normal breaks. [Mr. Bigica] can never climb ladders, ropes,
or scaffolds, but can occasionally climb rampa and stairs,
balance, stoop, crouch, kneel and crawl. [Mr. Bigica] must
avoid concentrated exposure to pulmonary irritants such as
fumes, odors, dusts, and gases. [Mr. Bigaca] is limited to
unskilled work, with an SVP 1 or 2, simple, routine,
repetitive tasks. [Mr. Bigica] can have occasional
interaction with the public and tolerate occasional changes
in the work setting.
(Tr. 645). Based on these findings, the ALJ determined Mr.
Bigica could not perform his past relevant work. (Tr. 653).
However, Mr. Bigica could perform jobs that exist in
significant numbers in the national economy. (Id.).
Specifically, Mr. Bigica could perform the jobs of
housecleaner, advertising material, and ...