United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
LORENZO T. JACKSON, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
NANNETTE A. BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial review
of the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision
denying Lorenzo Jackson's application for supplemental
security income under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.
§ 416 et seq. Jackson alleged disability due to
schizophrenia, pain/numbness in lower back, and knee
problems. (Tr. 150.) The parties have consented to the
exercise of authority by the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). [Doc.
8.] The Court has reviewed the parties' briefs and the
entire administrative record, including the hearing
transcripts and the medical evidence. The Court heard oral
argument in this matter on December 7, 2017. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court will affirm the Commissioner's
Issues for Review
presents three issues for review. First, Jackson contends
that the ALJ failed to properly evaluate the difference
between limited and occasional contact with others in
determining that there were jobs in the national economy that
he could perform. Second, Jackson asserts that the ALJ did
not properly evaluate the opinion evidence given by Dr. Dinu
Gangure, Jackson's treating psychiatrist. Finally,
Jackson states that the ALJ erroneously discounted his
mother's third-party statement by evaluating it like a
medical statement. The Commissioner asserts that the
ALJ's decision is supported by substantial evidence in
the record as a whole and should be affirmed.
Standard of Review
Social Security Act defines disability as an “inability
to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of
any medically determinable physical or mental impairment
which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can
be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than
12 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 416(i)(1)(A).
standard of review is narrow. Pearsall v. Massanari,
274 F.3d 1211, 1217 (8th Cir. 2001). This Court reviews
decisions of the ALJ to determine whether the decision is
supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole.
42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Substantial evidence is less than a
preponderance, but enough that a reasonable mind would find
adequate support for the ALJ's decision. Smith v.
Shalala, 31 F.3d 715, 717 (8th Cir. 1994). The court
determines whether evidence is substantial by considering
evidence that detracts from the Commissioner's decision
as well as evidence that supports it. Cox v.
Barnhart, 471 F.3d 902, 906 (8th Cir. 2006). The Court
may not reverse just because substantial evidence exists that
would support a contrary outcome or because the Court would
have decided the case differently. Id. If, after
reviewing the record as a whole, the Court finds it possible
to draw two inconsistent positions from the evidence and one
of those positions represents the Commissioner's finding,
the Commissioner's decision must be affirmed.
Masterson v. Barnhart, 363 F.3d 731, 736 (8th Cir.
2004). To determine whether the ALJ's final decision is
supported by substantial evidence, the Court is required to
review the administrative record as a whole to consider:
(1) The findings of credibility made by the ALJ;
(2) The education, background, work history, and age of the
3) The medical evidence given by the claimant's treating
(4) The subjective complaints of pain and description of the
claimant's physical activity and impairment;
(5) The corroboration by third parties of the claimant's
(6) The testimony of vocational experts based upon prior
hypothetical questions which fairly set forth the