United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southern Division
ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Tammy Leggett
(“Plaintiff”)'s appeal of the Commissioner of
Social Security (“Commissioner”)'s final
decision denying her application for Social Security
insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act
(“the Act”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-434. The
decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED.
Court's review of the Commissioner's decision to deny
disability benefits is limited to determining if the decision
“complies with the relevant legal requirements and is
supported by substantial evidence in the record as a
whole.” Halverson v. Astrue, 600 F.3d 922, 929
(8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ford v. Astrue, 518 F.3d
979, 981 (8th Cir. 2008)); see also 42 U.S.C. §
405(g). “Substantial evidence is less than a
preponderance of the evidence, but is ‘such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind would find adequate to support
the [Commissioner's] conclusion.'” Grable
v. Colvin, 770 F.3d 1196, 1201 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Davis v. Apfel, 239 F.3d 962, 966 (8th Cir. 2001)).
In determining whether existing evidence is substantial, the
Court takes into account evidence that both supports and
detracts from the Administrative Law Judge's
(“ALJ”) findings. Cline v. Colvin, 771
F.3d 1098, 1102 (8th Cir. 2014) (quotation marks omitted).
“If the ALJ's decision is supported by substantial
evidence, [the Court] may not reverse even if substantial
evidence would support the opposite outcome or [the Court]
would have decided differently.” Smith v.
Colvin, 756 F.3d 621, 625 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Davis, 239 F.3d at 966). The Court does not re-weigh
the evidence presented to the ALJ. Guilliams v.
Barnhart, 393 F.3d 798, 801 (8th Cir. 2005) (citing
Baldwin v. Barnhart, 349 F.3d 549, 555 (8th Cir.
2003)). The Court should “defer heavily to the findings
and conclusions of the [Commissioner].” Hurd v.
Astrue, 621 F.3d 734, 738 (8th Cir. 2010) (citation
of overview, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff suffered from
the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease
of the lumbar spine; obesity; tachycardia; post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD); major depressive disorder;
schizoaffective disorder; a personality disorder; and a
history of polysubstance abuse. The ALJ also determined that
Plaintiff has non-severe impairments, including diabetes and
daily headaches with associated nausea and vomiting. However,
the ALJ found that none of Plaintiff's impairments,
whether considered alone or in combination, meet or medically
equals the criteria of one of the listed impairments in 20
CFR Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1. Despite Plaintiff's
limitations, the ALJ found that Plaintiff retained the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
light work with several exceptions and limitations. Though
the ALJ found Plaintiff incapable of performing any past
relevant work, there are jobs in significant numbers in the
national economy that Plaintiff can perform, such as retail
marker, machine operator, and bench assembler. Therefore,
Plaintiff is not disabled, as defined in the Act, from August
15, 2010, through the date of the ALJ's decision.
appeal, Plaintiff alleges errors related to (1) whether the
ALJ properly considered Plaintiff's headaches; and (2)
whether the ALJ properly evaluated the medical opinion
carefully reviewed the record before the Court and the
parties' submissions on appeal, the Court concludes that
the ALJ complied with relevant legal requirements and
substantial evidence on the record as a whole supports the
THEREFORE, ORDERED that the decision of the Commissioner is
 Nancy A. Berryhill became the Acting
Commissioner of Social Security on January 23, 2017, however
for consistency purposes, the case style in this legal action
remains as originally filed.
 Plaintiff argues the ALJ improperly
gave little weight to the opinions of the treating
psychiatrist, treating therapist, and the consultative
examiner, while giving significant weight to the State agency
consultants. “State agency medical and psychological
consultants are highly qualified physicians and psychologists
who are experts in the evaluation of the medical issues in
disability claims under the Act.” SSR 96-6p; 1996 WL
374180, at *2 (July 2, 1996). “In appropriate
circumstances, opinions from State agency medical and
psychological consultants and other program physicians and
psychologists may be entitled to greater weight than the
opinions of treating or examining sources.” Brown
v. Colvin, No. 4:13-CV-368-DGK-SSA, 2014 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 59088, at *9 (W.D. Mo. Apr. ...