United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Tony Douglas brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration Commissioner's denial of his application
for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under
Title II of the Social Security Act and Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act.
Douglas alleged that he was disabled because of vision
problems, spine problems, hearing loss, memory problems,
anxiety, depression, breathing problems, and stomach
problems/possible ulcers. (Tr. 296.)
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found that Douglas has several
medically determinable impairments, but does not have a
severe impairment or combination of impairments and is not,
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.
protectively filed applications for DIB and SSI on March 12,
2012, claiming that he became unable to work due to his
disabling condition on January 30, 2012. (Tr. 251-57,
258-63). Douglas' claims were denied initially. (Tr.
139-43.) Following an administrative hearing, Douglas'
claims were denied in a written opinion by an ALJ, dated
December 30, 2013. (Tr. 74-91.) Douglas 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 27, 2015. (Tr. 73, 2-4.) The Appeals Council
indicated that it had considered additional evidence received
after its decision, but it did not provide a basis to set
aside its decision. (Tr. 1.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ
stands as the final decision of the Commissioner.
See 20 C.F.R. '' 404.981, 416.1481.
instant action, Douglas claims that the ALJ erred in
“[f]ailing to find the Plaintiff met the Grids for his
advanced age (59 years), lack of transferable skills, and
combination of impairments.” (Doc. 14 at 1.)
The ALJ's Determination
found that Douglas met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2016, and that he
has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January
30, 2012, his alleged onset date. (Tr. 79.)
addition, the ALJ concluded that Douglas' anxiety,
history of head injury, mild degenerative and congenital
changes in the lumbar spine and history of a healed
compression fracture in the thoracic spine, history of
Bell's palsy affecting the right side of the face, and
hyperlipidemia were medically determinable impairments. (Tr.
79.) The ALJ found that Douglas did not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that has significantly limited or
is expected to significantly limit his ability to perform
basic work-related activities for twelve consecutive months.
(Tr. 80.) The ALJ therefore concluded that Douglas does not
have a severe impairment or combination of impairments.
found that Douglas has not been under a disability, as
defined in the Social Security Act, from January 30, 2012,
through December 30, 2013. (Tr. 91.)
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits protectively filed on March 12,
2012, the claimant is not disabled under sections 216(i) and
223(d) of the Social Security Act.
Based on the application for supplemental security income
protectively filed on March 12, 2012, the claimant is not
disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security
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 ...