United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
ROBERT P. YATES, JR., Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Social Security Administration, Defendant.
CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Robert P. Yates, Jr. brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration Commissioner's denial of his applications
for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under
Title II of the Social Security Act and Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act.
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that,
despite Yates' severe physical and mental impairments, he
was not disabled as he had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform work existing 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 applications for DIB and SSI on June 11, 2014, and
June 30, 2014, respectively, claiming that he became unable
to work on May 26, 2011. (Tr. 215, 241.) In his Disability
Report, he alleged disability due to bipolar disorder,
chronic body pain, migraines, degenerative bone disease, acid
reflux, thyroid problems, anemia, and arthritis. (Tr. 261.)
Yates was 37 years of age at the time of his alleged onset of
disability. His claims were denied initially. (Tr. 113-17.)
Following an administrative hearing, Yates' claims were
denied in a written opinion by an ALJ, dated September 27,
2016. (Tr. 12-24.) Yates 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 September
27, 2017. (Tr. 1-4.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as
the final decision of the Commissioner. See 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 416.1481.
action, Yates argues that the ALJ “failed to give great
weight to the consultative examiner that she hired post
hearing.” (Doc. 19 at p. 7.)
The ALJ's Determination
first found that Yates met the insured status requirements of
the Social Security Act through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 14.)
He further found that Yates has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since May 26, 2011, the alleged onset date.
Id. In addition, the ALJ concluded that Yates had
the following severe impairments: lumbar spondylosis,
migraines/chronic headaches, bipolar affective disorder,
dissociative identity disorder,  insomnia, and vertigo.
Id. The ALJ found that Yates did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that meets or
medically equals the severity of one of the listed
impairments. (Tr. 15.)
Yates's RFC, the ALJ stated:
After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that
the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and
416.967(a) except he can push and/or pull as much as he can
lift and/or carry; can never climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds but can occasionally climb ramps or stairs; can
occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crawl, or crouch; can
occasionally be exposed to vibration, but never be exposed to
moving mechanical parts, unprotected heights or have driving
a motor vehicle as part of his job duties; is limited to
performing simple, routine, and repetitive tasks and making
simple work-related decisions; can occasionally respond
appropriately to supervisors and/or coworkers but never to
found that Yates was unable to perform any past relevant
work, but was capable of performing other jobs existing in
significant numbers in the national economy, such as final
assembler, document preparer, and table worker. (Tr. 22-23.)
The ALJ therefore concluded that Yates was not under a
disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from May
26, 2011, through the date of the decision. (Tr. 23.)
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits protectively filed on June 11,
2014, the claimant is not disabled under sections 216(i) and
223(d) of the Social Security Act.
Based on the application for supplemental security income
protectively filed on June 30, 2014, the claimant is not
disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security
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 ...