United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Joseph Potter 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. Potter alleged that he
was disabled because of anxiety and back pain due to
kyphoscoliosis. (Tr. 164.)
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found that Potter had several
medically determinable impairments, but did not have a severe
impairment or combination of impairments during the relevant
period and was not, therefore, disabled.
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 his application for DIB on February 10,
2012, claiming that he became unable to work due to his
disabling condition on June 1, 2004. (Tr. 128-36.) Potter's
claim was denied initially. (Tr. 63.) Following an
administrative hearing, Potter's claim was denied in a
written opinion by an ALJ, dated December 18, 2013. (Tr.
12-26.) Potter 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 March 6,
2015. (Tr. 8, 1-3.) 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, Potter claims that the ALJ erred in
“failing to recontact the claimant's treating
medical provider as required by 20 C.F.R. '
404.1512(E).” (Doc. 18 at 9.)
The ALJ's Determination
found that Potter met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act on September 30, 2010, and that he has
not engaged in substantial gainful activity from his alleged
onset date of January 1, 2007, through his date last insured
of September 30, 2010. (Tr. 14-15.)
addition, the ALJ concluded that, through his date last
insured, Potter's asthma, thoracolumbar dextroscoliosis,
obesity, and learning disorder were medically determinable
impairments. (Tr. 15.) The ALJ found that Potter did not have
an impairment or combination of impairments that has
significantly limited or is expected to significantly limit
the ability to perform basic work-related activities for
twelve consecutive months through his date last insured. (Tr.
16.) The ALJ therefore concluded that Potter did not have a
severe impairment or combination of impairments during the
relevant period. Id.
found that Potter has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, at any time from January 1, 2007,
the alleged onset date, through September 30, 2010, the date
last insured. (Tr. 25.)
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits protectively filed on February
10, 2012, the claimant was not disabled under sections 216(i)
and 223(d) of the Social Security Act through September 30,
2010, the last date insured.
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 ...