United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
TOMMY D. WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,  ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the Court is Plaintiff's appeal seeking judicial review
of a final decision of the Defendant Commissioner of Social
Security (“Commissioner”) denying supplemental
security income and disability insurance benefits. 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 suffers from
the following severe impairments: post right rotator cuff
repair, degenerative disc disease, borderline intellectual
functioning, and an affective disorder. The ALJ determined
that Plaintiff has the following non-severe impairments:
hypertension, hepatitis C, and substance abuse disorders.
However, the ALJ found that none of Plaintiff's
impairments, whether considered alone or in combination, meet
or medically equal the criteria of one of the listed
impairments in 20 CFR Pt. 404. Subpt. P, App. 1
(“Listing”). Additionally, the ALJ found that,
despite his limitations, Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform light work
with limitations. Although the ALJ found Plaintiff unable to
perform any past relevant work, the ALJ found there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that Plaintiff can perform, such as a wrapping machine
operator, collator operator, or electrical assembler.
Therefore, the ALJ determined Plaintiff was not disabled, as
defined in the Act, from August 2, 2013, through the date of
the ALJ's decision.
Plaintiff's appeal of the ALJ's decision,
Plaintiff's strongest argument is whether substantial
evidence supports the ALJ's conclusion that
Plaintiff's impairments do not meet the requirements of
Listing 12.05(C). Plaintiff's argument, however, is not
persuasive. Listing 12.05(C) requires a claimant to
demonstrate, “significantly sub-average general
intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive
functioning.” Scott v. Berryhill, 855 F.3d
853, 856 (8th Cir. 2017) (citing 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P,
App. 1, §12.05(C)) (internal quotations omitted). Here,
Dr. Israel found Plaintiff is able to understand and remember
instructions, maintain concentration and persistence with
tasks, interact socially, and adapt to a work-related
environment. The consultative psychologist assessed the
Plaintiff with a Global Assessment of Functioning
(“GAF”) of sixty-five (65), indicating mild
symptoms. Therefore, substantial evidence supports the
ALJ's determination that Plaintiff's impairments did
not meet the criteria for Listing 12.05(C). Upon review of
the parties' briefs and the record, Plaintiff's other
arguments are without merit.
carefully reviewed the record before the Court and the
parties' submissions on appeal, the Court concludes that
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