Manly Hook v. Carolyn Colvin
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 6:14-cv-01311-TMC. Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. . [15-2352]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
MANLY HOWELL HOOK,
Plaintiff – Appellant,
Defendant – Appellee.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of
South Carolina, at Greenville. Timothy M. Cain, District Judge.
December 6, 2016
February 8, 2017
Before KING, SHEDD, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
ARGUED: William Daniel Mayes, SMITH, MASSEY, BRODIE, GUYNN &
MAYES, P.A., Aiken, South Carolina, for Appellant.
Elizabeth Quick, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, for Appellee.
ON BRIEF: Nora Koch, Acting
Regional Chief Counsel, Charles Kawas, Acting Supervisory
Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, SOCIAL SECURITY
ADMINISTRATION, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; William N. Nettles,
United States Attorney, Marshall Prince, Assistant United States
Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Columbia, South
Carolina, for Appellee.
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Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Benefits and Supplemental Security Income, finding that he is
decision became final, Hook filed this action seeking judicial
review. Following briefing by the parties and a recommendation
by a magistrate judge, the district court affirmed the final
decision. Hook now appeals. We affirm.
We must uphold the ALJ’s disability determination unless it
is based on legal error or, in light of the whole record, is
unsupported by substantial evidence. Mascio v. Colvin, 780 F.3d
preponderance, of evidence. Hancock v. Astrue, 667 F.3d 470, 472
(4th Cir. 2012). We do not reweigh conflicting evidence, make
credibility determinations, or substitute our judgment for that
of the ALJ. Johnson v. Barnhart, 434 F.3d 650, 653 (4th Cir.
2005). When conflicting evidence could lead reasonable minds to
differ regarding whether a claimant is disabled, we must defer
to the ALJ’s determination. Hancock, 667 F.3d at 472.
An ALJ is required to use a five-step sequential evaluation
Mascio, 780 F.3d at 634-35 (explaining the process). If the ALJ
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finds that the claimant has been working (step one) or that the
duration requirements of the social security regulations (step
two), the process ends with a finding of “not disabled.” If the
ALJ reaches step three, he must either find that the claimant is
impairment listed in the regulations or continue the analysis,
but he cannot deny benefits at this step.
functional capacity (“RFC”), which is the most the claimant can
ability to work. To make this assessment, the ALJ must consider
which the ALJ is aware. The ALJ then moves to step four, where
the ALJ either finds the claimant not disabled because he is
able to perform past work or proceeds to step five because the
exertion required for the claimant’s past work exceeds the RFC.
The claimant bears the burden of proof at the first four
steps, but at step five the burden shifts to the Commissioner to
prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the claimant can
perform other work that exists in significant numbers in the
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claimant’s limitations. If the Commissioner meets her burden,
application for benefits.
Conducting this analysis, the ALJ proceeded through step
severe impairments of degenerative joint disease and obesity,
but that he has the ability to perform sedentary work subject to
certain limitations. Based on the vocational expert’s testimony,
the ALJ further found that the Commissioner met her burden of
proving that Hook is capable of performing work that exists in
significant numbers in the national economy. For this reason,
the ALJ concluded that Hook is not disabled.
rationale for rejecting the opinion of Dr. Vaughan Massie is not
supported by substantial evidence, (2) the ALJ improperly failed
to include certain restrictions in the RFC determination, and
controlling legal principles, we conclude that there is no basis
substantially the reasons articulated by the district court –
that is, the ALJ properly followed the controlling regulations
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in assessing Hook’s application, the ALJ adequately explained
the bases for his adverse disability finding, and the decision
(magistrate report and district court order).
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