United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
CLIFTON B. WEBSTER, III, Plaintiff,
NANCY BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
F. SAPORITO, JR. U.S. Magistrate Judge.
an action brought under 42 U.S.C. §405(g), seeking
judicial review of the Commissioner of Social Security's
final decision denying Clifton B. Webster III's claims
for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the
Social Security Act. This matter has been referred to the
undersigned Magistrate Judge for the preparation of the
report and recommended disposition pursuant to the provisions
of 28 U.S.C. §636(b) and Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure.
reasons stated herein, we respectfully recommend that the
decision of the Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
Background and Procedural History
is an adult individual born February 7, 1955. He was
fifty-seven years old at the time of the alleged onset of
disability-January 9, 2013. (Tr. 30).
age at the onset date places him in a category of a
“person of advanced age” under the
Commissioner's regulations whose age significantly
affects a person's ability to adjust to other work. See
20 C.F.R. §404.1568(d)(4).
17, 2013, Webster protectively filed an application for
benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act alleging
disability as of January 9, 2013. In his application, Webster
alleged that the following impairments prevent him from
engaging in any work: agoraphobia, depression, anxiety,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder. (Tr. 184).
claim was initially denied on September 27, 2013. Thereafter,
on October 16, 2013, Webster filed a timely request for an
administrative hearing. His request was granted. Webster
appeared and testified before Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Timothy Wing on February 24, 2015.
Webster was represented by counsel, Valeen Hykes, throughout
the proceeding. In addition, impartial vocational expert
(“VE”) Carmine Abraham also appeared and
testified during the administrative hearing.
4, 2015, the ALJ denied Webster's application for
benefits in a written decision. On May 26, 2015, Webster
sought further review of his claims by the Appeals Council of
the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, but his
request was denied on October 13, 2016. This makes the
ALJ's May 4, 2015, decision the final decision subject to
judicial review by this Court.
filed a timely complaint in this Court on December 3, 2016.
(Doc. 1). In his complaint, Webster alleges that the final
decision of the Commissioner is not supported by substantial
evidence, contains errors of law, and should be reversed
and/or remanded for a new hearing.
February 7, 2017, the Commissioner filed her answer, in which
she maintains that the ALJ's decision was made in
accordance with the law and is supported by substantial
evidence. (Doc. 8).
matter has been fully briefed by the parties and is ripe for
decision. (Docs. 10, 11, and 12).
time of the administrative hearing, Webster was sixty years
old and has resided with his son, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania,
which is in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (Tr.
82-83). Prior to moving-in with his son, Webster resided in
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with his wife. Webster completed
a ninth-grade education without any further education. (Tr.
82). Webster stated that his reading and writing skills are
not good, but he is able to do day-to-day business. (Tr. 82).
past work includes: auto clerk, pharmacy driver, and car
sales. (Tr. 44, 131, 137).
points out that his most serious health issue that causes him
to be unable to work is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
(Tr. 85). He also indicated that his most serious physical
health issue that prevents him from working would be his
neuropathy. (Tr. 85). He stated that when he sleeps he has
sharp foot pain. He stated there is no certain time of the
day this would happen-it can happen anytime. He stated that
when the neuropathy is acting up, it causes him to have
trouble walking, where at times, his left foot would flop.
(Tr. 86). Webster was prescribed triptyline, which seemed to
limit the events of the neuropathy. (Tr. 87). Webster was
able to walk one mile per day. (Tr. 88).
stated that he needs some psychiatric counseling but he
cannot afford it. He stated he borrows money from friends to
pay his co-pays. (Tr. 92). Webster stated that the only side
effects of his medications are tiredness. (Tr. 92).
medical records reflect that he was seen at Saxon Psychiatric
Services from March 30, 2009, through April 25, 2013.
Beginning in October 2013 through August 2014, Webster was
seen by ...