United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
For William Longcor, Plaintiff: Michael J. Parker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Abrahamsen Conaboy & Abrahamsen PC, Scranton, PA.
For Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant: Mark. E. Morrison, U.S. Attorney's office - Social Security, Harrisburg, PA.
Edwin M. Kosik Judge.
The above-captioned action is one seeking review of a decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (" Commissioner"), denying Plaintiff William Longcor's application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (" DIB"), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). For the reasons set forth below, we will vacate the decision of the Commissioner and remand the case to the Commissioner for further proceedings.
I. Procedural History
Longcor, born on August 31, 1962,  filed an application for DIB, pursuant to Title II of the Social Security Act (" Act"), on May 9, 2011. (Tr. 139-43.) Longcor alleged disability due to diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, social anxiety, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and pain, since November 30, 2010. (Id ; Tr. 116-17.) The application was denied by the Pennsylvania state agency on June 24, 2011. (Tr. 116-24.) Upon request by Longcor, a hearing was held before an Administrative Law Judge (" ALJ"), on March 8, 2012. (Tr. 93-115.) Longcor and the vocational expert, Patricia L. Chilleri, testified at the hearing. (Id.)
On March 28, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision denying Longcor's application for benefits. (Tr. 60-74.) The ALJ found that Longcor was not under a disability within the meaning of the Act, from November 30, 2010, through the date of the decision. (Id.) On April 22, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Longcor's request to review the ALJ's decision. (Tr. 1-7.)
Longcor then initiated the instant civil action by filing his Complaint (Doc. 1), on June 17, 2013. The case was transferred to Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt, who issued a Report and Recommendation (Doc. 12), on December 17, 2013. The Magistrate Judge recommended that Longcor's appeal from the decision of the Commissioner be denied. Longcor filed Objections to the Report and Recommendation (Doc. 13) and a brief in support (Doc. 14), on January 3, 2014. We will review Longcor's Objections and the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation accordingly.
II. Factual Background
Longcor has a high school education. (Tr. 70.) In the past, Longcor worked as a cement truck driver, which is a medium, semi-skilled job. (Tr. 71.) Longcor has not worked since his alleged onset date of disability, November 30, 2010. (Tr. 65.)
Longcor stated that he has diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, pain, anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and bipolar disorder. (Tr. 116-17.) Longcor was treated twice by Dr. Christian, in November 2010 and March 2011. (Tr. 212-13.) Longcor expressed that he did not have insurance and complained of multiple issues, including social anxiety and depression. (Id.) Longcor was also treated at the Pike County Family Health Center on September 20, 2011, for multiple issues, including right rotator cuff syndrome, diabetes, and depression. (Tr. 220-21.)
On February 29, 2012, Longcor was seen by Dr. Ahmed for right rotator cuff problems. (Tr. 225-27.) Dr. Ahmed sent Longcor for an MRI on March 2, 2012, which showed Longcor had a high-grade partial thickness tear of the supraspinatus tendon. (Tr. 222-23.) On March 13, 2012, Dr. Ahmed referred Longcor to Dr. Piserchia, an orthopedic surgeon, for further evaluation of his tom rotator cuff. (Tr. 229.)
Longcor saw Dr. Piserchia in April 2012, and was diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome (" CTS"), cervical spondyloss and narrowing of the disc space between C5 and C6, and adhesive capsulitis in his right shoulder due to the tear. (Tr. 23-57.) Longcor submitted those records to the Appeals Council on October 17, 2012. (Tr. 23-57.) The Appeals Council found that since the ALJ decided Longcor's case through March 28, 2012, the medical records from Dr. Piserchia were ...