United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Betty Lee Frenzel brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration Commissioner's denial of her application
for Child Insurance Benefits under Title II of the Social
Security Act and Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act.
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that,
despite Frenzel's multiple severe impairments, she was
not disabled as she had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform jobs that exist in significant
numbers in the national economy.
matter is pending before the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge, with consent of the parties, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c). A summary of the entire record is
presented in the parties' briefs and is repeated here
only to the extent necessary.
October 21, 2010, Frenzel filed applications for Child's
Insurance Benefits and SSI, claiming that she became disabled
on January 1, 2004. (Tr. 204-09.) Frenzel's claims were
denied initially. (Tr. 108-17.) Following an administrative
hearing, Frenzel's claims were denied in a written
opinion by an ALJ, dated October 31, 2013. (Tr. 23-38.)
Frenzel then filed a request for review of the ALJ's
decision with the Appeals Council of the Social Security
Administration (SSA), which was denied on February 19, 2015.
(Tr. 3-6.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as the final
decision of the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R.
'' 404.981, 416.1481. In the instant action, Frenzel
claims that the ALJ erred in that he “gave little
weight to the only evidence related to Frenzel's mental
functioning abilities and disregarded evidence which
supported further limitations.” (Doc. 13 at 1.)
The ALJ's Determination
stated that Frenzel was born on November 11, 1991, and had
not attained age twenty-two as of January 1, 2004, the
alleged onset date. (Tr. 28.) The ALJ found that Frenzel had
not engaged in substantial gainful activity since her alleged
onset date. Id.
addition, the ALJ concluded that Frenzel had the following
severe impairments: bipolar disorder; major depressive
disorder; mood disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD); generalized anxiety disorder; personality disorder
with borderline features; right carpal tunnel syndrome; and
mild generative disc disease of the lumbar spine.
Id. The ALJ found that Frenzel did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that meets or equals
in severity the requirements of any impairment listed in 20
C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (Tr. 29.)
Frenzel's RFC, the ALJ stated:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to lift 50 pounds occasionally and 25
pounds frequently; can stand and/or walk about 6 hours out of
an 8 hour workday, with normal breaks; can sit for about 8
hours out of an 8 hour workday, with normal breaks; and push
and/or pull to same weights. She is able to frequently bend,
kneel, stoop, crawl, or crouch. She is frequently able to
walk on uneven terrain, as well as climb ladders and work at
heights. She is able to frequently perform fine manipulation
with the right, upper extremity. She is limited to simple and
routine tasks, consisting of one to two step instructions.
She is limited to occasional, superficial,
non-confrontational, and non-negotiation types of
interactions with co-workers and supervisors. She is limited
to work that does not involve team effort in making decision,
developing goals or priorities, building consensus, or
negotiating outcomes. She is not able to work with the
found that Frenzel's allegations regarding her
limitations were not entirely credible. (Tr. 32-33.) In
determining Frenzel's mental RFC,  the ALJ indicated
that he was assigning “great weight” to the
opinion of state agency consultant W. Nordbock, Ph.D. (Tr.
34.) He stated that he was giving “little weight”
to the opinion of Frenzel's counselor, Laura Swalley,
because Ms. Swalley is not an acceptable medical source and
her opinion is not consistent with the evidence of record.
further found that Frenzel has no past relevant work. (Tr.
37.) The ALJ noted that a vocational expert testified that
Frenzel could perform jobs existing in significant numbers in
the national economy, such as farm worker, laundry laborer,
and skin lifter. (Tr. 37-38.) The ALJ therefore concluded
that Frenzel has not been under a disability, as defined in
the Social Security Act, from January 1, 2004, through the
date of the decision. (Tr. 38.)
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for child's insurance benefits
filed on October 21, 2010, the claimant is not disabled as
defined in section 223(d) of the Social Security Act through
the date of this decision.
Based on the application for supplemental security income
protectively field on September 28, 2010, the claimant is not
disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security
Applicable Law III.A. Standard of Review
decision of the Commissioner must be affirmed if it is
supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Richardson v. Perales, 402
U.S. 389, 401 (1971); Estes v. Barnhart, 275 F.3d
722, 724 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial evidence is less than a
preponderance of the evidence, but enough that a reasonable
person would find it adequate to support the conclusion.
Johnson v. Apfel, 240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir.
2001). This “substantial evidence test, ”
however, is “more than a mere search of the record for
evidence supporting the Commissioner's findings.”
Coleman v. Astrue, 498 F.3d 767, 770 (8th Cir. 2007)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
“Substantial evidence on the record as a whole . . .
requires a more scrutinizing analysis.” Id.
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
determine whether the Commissioner's decision is
supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole,
the Court must review the entire administrative record and
1. The credibility findings made by the ALJ.
2. The plaintiff's vocational factors.
3. The medical evidence from treating and consulting
4. The plaintiff's subjective complaints relating to
exertional and non-exertional ...