United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Curtis Weber 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 Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under
Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that,
despite Weber's severe impairments, he was not disabled
as he 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.
following reasons, the decision of the Commissioner will be
filed his application for SSI on April 11, 2013. (Tr.
150-55.) He alleged that he became disabled on March 18,
2008, due to post-traumatic stress disorder
(“PTSD”), back problems, knee problems,
depression, and anxiety. (Tr. 170.) Weber's claims were
denied initially. (Tr. 85.) Following an administrative
hearing, Weber's claims were denied in a written opinion
by an ALJ, dated September 12, 2014. (Tr. 10-21.) Weber 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 5, 2016. (Tr. 5, 1-4.) Thus, the
decision of the ALJ stands as the final decision of the
Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. '' 404.981,
instant action, Weber claims that the ALJ “erred in
failing to properly support the RFC determination as required
by SSR 96-8p and failing to properly develop the record
regarding Weber's mental limitations.” (Doc. 15 at
The ALJ's Determination
found that Weber had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since his application date of April 11, 2013. (Tr.
addition, the ALJ concluded that Weber had the following
severe impairments: spine and bilateral hip dysfunction;
major depressive disorder; anxiety disorder; and PTSD.
Id. The ALJ found that Weber 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. 13.)
Weber's RFC, the ALJ stated:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in
416.967(b) in that he can lift 20 pounds occasionally and
lift/carry 10 pounds frequently; can stand and/or walk 6
hours out of an 8 hour workday; can sit 6 hours out of an 8
hour workday except he should avoid concentrated exposure to
hazards, such as unprotected heights and being around
dangerous, moving machinery. He can never climb ropes,
ladders, or scaffolds. He can no more than occasionally climb
on ramps and stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
He can understand, remember, and carry out simple
instructions, consistent with unskilled work, in a job where
there are no strict production quotas and the individual
would not be subject to the demands of fast-paced production
work. In other words, work is by the shift and not by the
hour. He can perform only simple decision-making related to
basic work functions. He can tolerate only minor, infrequent
changes in the workplace. He can have occasional contact with
co-workers and supervisors but no contact with the general
found that Weber's allegations regarding his limitations
were not entirely credible. (Tr. 16.) In determining
Weber's RFC, the ALJ indicated that he was assigning
“partial weight” to the opinion of consultative
psychologist Jonathon D. Rosenboom; “little
weight” to the opinion of state agency evaluator Mark
Altomari, Ph.D.; and “significant weight” to the
opinion of examining physician Jeff Semeyn, D.O. (Tr. 17-19.)
further found that Weber is unable to perform any past
relevant work. (Tr. 19.) The ALJ noted that a vocational
expert testified that Weber could perform jobs existing in
significant numbers in the national economy, such as small
products assembler I, garment sorter, and folding machine
operator. (Tr. 20.) The ALJ therefore concluded that Weber
has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social
Security Act, since April 11, 2013, the date the application
was filed. (Tr. 21.)
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for supplemental security income
filed on April 11, 2013, the claimant is not disabled under
section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act.
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 ...