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Reminger v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

March 18, 2019

LISA REMINGER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1]Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is an action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial review of the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision denying Plaintiff Lisa Reminger's application for supplemental security income benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1381, et seq. For the reasons set forth below, the decision of the Commissioner will be affirmed.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff applied for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits in November 2014, alleging disability resulting from systemic lupus erythematosus ("lupus"), trigeminal neuralgia ("IN"), Hashimoto's disease (causing hypothyroidism), and arthritis. After her application was denied at the initial administrative level, she requested a hearing before an administrative law judge ("ALJ"). Following a hearing on February 6, 2017, the ALJ issued a written decision denying Plaintiffs application on March 6, 2017. Plaintiffs request for review by the Appeals Council was denied. Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as the final decision of the Commissioner. See Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, 107 (2000).

         II. Facts

         The Court adopts Plaintiffs Statement of Material Facts (Doc. No. 18-1) and Defendant's Statement of Additional Material Facts (Doc. No. 23-2). The Court's review of the record shows that the adopted facts are accurate and complete. Specific facts will be discussed as part of the analysis.

         III. Standards

         The court's role on judicial review is to determine whether the ALJ's findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Johnson v. Astrue, 628 F.3d 991, 992 (8th Cir. 2009). "Substantial evidence is that which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Id. (citations omitted). The court may not reverse merely because substantial evidence exists in the record that would support a contrary outcome or because the court would have decided the case differently. See Krogmeier v. Barnhart, 294 F.3d 1019, 1022 (8th Cir. 2002).

         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 and to consider:

(1) The findings of credibility made by the ALJ;
(2) The education, background, work history, and age of the claimant;
(3) The medical evidence given by the claimant's treating physicians;
(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 physical impairment;
(6) The testimony of vocational experts based upon prior hypothetical questions which fairly set forth the claimant's physical impairment; and
(7) The testimony of consulting physicians.

Brand v. Sec'y of Dept. of Health, Educ. & Welfare, 623 F.2d 523, 527 (8th Cir. ...


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