United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Sharon Green brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration Commissioner's denial of her applications
for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) 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 Green's severe bilateral shoulder joint pain, she
was not disabled as she had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform past work as a retail sales
clerk, and other 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.
protectively filed her applications for DIB and SSI on April
12, 2012, alleging that she became unable to work due to her
disabling condition on April 9, 2012. (Tr. 142-48, 135-41.)
Her claims were denied initially. (Tr. 71, 72.) Following an
administrative hearing, Green's claims were denied in a
written opinion by an ALJ, dated January 23, 2014. (Tr.
13-26.) Green 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 April 20,
2015. (Tr. 7, 1-5.) 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, Green first claims that the
“[s]ubstantial evidence does not support the ALJ's
finding that Plaintiff can frequently reach overhead.”
(Doc. 12 at 10.) Green next argues that the ALJ erred
“in finding Plaintiff could return to past relevant
work at a job that was not performed at substantial gainful
activity.” Id. at 14. Green finally argues
that the ALJ “failed to identify or resolve the
overhead reaching conflicts between the VE testimony and the
DOT/SCO description of the identified jobs.”
Id. at 15.
stated that Green met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 15.) The
ALJ found that Green had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since April 9, 2012. Id.
addition, the ALJ concluded that Green had the following
severe impairment: post-surgery bilateral shoulder joint
pain. Id. The ALJ found that Green did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that meets or equals
in severity the requirements of any listed impairment. (Tr.
Green's RFC, the ALJ stated:
After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that
the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) in
that the claimant can stand/walk six hours out of an
eight-hour workday; can sit six hours out of an eight hour
workday; can occasionally lift 20 pounds, 10 pounds
frequently; must avoid climbing ropes, ladders, and
scaffolds; can frequently push and pull with the bilateral
upper extremities; and can frequently reach overhead.
support of this determination, the ALJ stated that the record
did not contain any opinions from treating or examining
physicians indicating that Green was disabled or that she had
greater limitations. (Tr. 23.) The ALJ also performed a
credibility analysis and found that Green's allegations
regarding her limitations were not entirely credible. (Tr.
further found that Green was capable of performing past
relevant work as a retail sales clerk. Id. The ALJ
found in the alternative that there were other jobs that
exist in significant numbers in the national economy that
Green can also perform, such as mail sorter, marker, and
cashier. (Tr. 24-25.) The ALJ therefore concluded that Green
has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social
Security Act, from April 9, 2012, through the date of the
decision. (Tr. 26.)
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits protectively filed on April 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 April 12, 2012, 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 ...