United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ARNOLD SANSONE United States Magistrate Judge.
Hein seeks judicial review of a decision by the Commissioner
of Social Security (Commissioner) denying his claim for
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance
Benefits (DIB) under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.
Sections 1383(c)(3) and 405(g). After reviewing the record,
including a transcript of the proceedings before the
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the administrative record,
the pleadings, and the joint memorandum the parties
submitted, the Commissioner’s decision is
Hein applied for DIB on October 3, 2014 and SSI on October 6,
2014. (Tr. 66–67, 158–63). Mr. Hein alleges a
disability onset date of September 9, 2014. (Tr. 69, 158).
Mr. Hein’s claims were denied initially and upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 75, 83, 92, 102, 109–23). Mr.
Hein requested a hearing before an ALJ, which was held on
March 2, 2017, (Tr. 37–65, 128). The ALJ issued a
decision unfavorable to Mr. Hein on June 14, 2017. (Tr.
Appeals Council denied Mr. Hein’s request for review,
making the ALJ’s decision the final decision of the
Commissioner. (Tr. 1–3). Mr. Hein seeks judicial review
of the Commissioner’s final decision. (Doc. 1, p. 1).
NATURE OF DISABILITY CLAIM
Hein was forty-six years old when he submitted his SSI and
DIB applications. (Tr. 66, 158). He was forty-eight years old
when the ALJ held the hearing. (Tr. 43). Mr. Hein has a
limited education and can communicate in English. (Tr. 25).
Mr. Hein’s past relevant work included home builder
(new constructions or remodels) and horticultural worker.
(Tr. 24, 45–46). Mr. Hein claimed disability because of
a dislocated right shoulder and torn right rotator cuff. (Tr.
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
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 performing past relevant work, he is
not disabled. §§ 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 other work in the
national economy, he is not disabled. §§
determined Mr. Hein had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since his alleged onset date of September 9, 2014.
(Tr. 17). The ALJ found Mr. Hein had these severe
impairments: arthritis and degenerative join disease of the
right shoulder and degenerative disc disease. (Tr.
17–18). However, the ALJ found Mr. Hein’s
impairments or combination of impairments fail to meet or
medically equal the severity of an impairment in the
Listings. (Tr. 18).
found Mr. Hein had the RFC to perform light
work, with these added limitations:
lifting and/or carrying and pushing and/or pulling 10 pounds
occasionally and lesser weights frequently; sitting for six
hours out of an eight-hour day; occasional operation of hand
controls with the right upper extremity; no overhead reaching
with the right upper extremity, but all other reaching can be
performed on a frequent basis bilaterally; occasionally
climbing ramps and stairs, but can never climb ladders,
ropes, scaffolds; and occasionally balancing, stooping,
kneeling, or crouching, but can never crawl.
on these findings, the ALJ determined Mr. Hein could not
perform his past relevant work as either a house builder or
horticultural worker. (Tr. 24). The ALJ then determined Mr.
Hein could perform other jobs existing in significant numbers
in the national economy, specifically as a ticket taker,
inspector/hand packager, or cashier. (Tr. 25–26). As a
result, the ALJ found Mr. Hein not disabled. (Tr. 26).