United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's request for
judicial review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of the final
decision of Defendant denying Plaintiff's application for
disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security
Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401 et seq., and for
supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social
Security Act (Act), 42 U.S.C. §§1381, et
seq. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
affirm the Commissioner's denial of Plaintiff's
April 22, 2015, Administrative Law Judge Bradley L. Davis
conducted a video hearing at Hannibal, Missouri. Plaintiff
appeared in person and the Vocational Expert, Janice Weaver,
appeared by phone.
was born on January 3, 1965, and was 50 years old at the time
of the hearing. Plaintiff resides by himself, albeit with
relatives and friends between St. Louis and Hannibal, and is
a widower. Plaintiff completed high school through receipt of
has prior work experience as a unit leader in a factory that
produced Dove soap. He also has work experience at Beth Haven
as a CNA. He also had a position at Unilever for a brief
period, although the testimony did not reflect what duties he
performed at that employer. His last work experience, in
2013, was that of the unit leader manufacturing and producing
by the counsel for Plaintiff disclosed that he had two
strokes in 2013. One occurred in May and a second occurred in
August. As a consequence of the strokes Plaintiff testified
that both sides of his body were affected and the second
stroke, the right side, has demonstrated the most severe
impact. The testimony shows that the Plaintiff was partially
blinded, lost peripheral vision on the right side of both
eyes. He describes this as an inability to see the right side
of objects. It also left him with hyperesthesia, which causes
constant pain. Testimony also revealed Plaintiff has suffered
from Bell's palsy since 2010, and he asserts the strokes
aggravated that condition.
does not use a cane in walking but does use a walker from
time to time to assist in balance, especially if he is
walking three or four blocks. When he walks he experiences
great pain and discomfort under the right foot.
for Plaintiff also elicited testimony that Plaintiff has
difficulty sleeping due to the pain, as well as difficulty
getting undressed. There was also testimony that Plaintiff
feels pain, as described, when lifting but it does not affect
the amount of weight he can lift.
also heard testimony that the Plaintiff has difficulty
remembering things over short periods. An example offered was
relating to cooking and that it might not be unusual for him
to forget he has something in the oven or on the stove.
was testimony from Janice Weaver, the Vocational Expert.
Weaver testified and classified the past work experience of
the Plaintiff in relation to the Dictionary of Occupational
Titles. Based upon all of those considerations and the stated
hypotheticals of the ALJ, including stated limitations, the
Vocational Expert concluded there were jobs at the light work
level available for Plaintiff as an assembler, small products
II, folding machine operator in the clerical industry,
garment sorter in the garment industry, reel assembler, and
laborer, stores jobs.
determined that Plaintiff was not entitled to a finding of
disabled. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request
for review on February 2, 2016. The decision of the ALJ is
now the final decision for review by this court.
issues in a Social Security case are whether the final
decision of the Commissioner is consistent with the Social
Security Act, regulations, and applicable case law, and
whether the findings of fact by the ALJ are supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. Here the
Plaintiff asserts, by focusing on his physical functionality,
that the ...