United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
LINDA D. BRABOY, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
CRITES-LEONI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Linda D. Braboy brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration Commissioner's denial of her 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 Braboy's severe impairments, she was not disabled
as she 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 her application for benefits on October 7, 2014,
claiming that she became unable to work on January 1, 2010.
(Tr. 788-801.) In her Disability Report, Braboy alleged
disability due to the following conditions: spondylosis,
scoliosis, neck pain, sciatic nerve pain, inflammation of the
spine, ankle weakness, numbness in the hands and feet, heart
valve problems, vasovagal syncopy, hip problems, rashes on
the arms and legs, urination and bowel problems, obesity, and
heel and ankle pain. (Tr. 827.) Braboy was 38 years of age at
her alleged onset of disability. Id. Her
applications were denied initially. (Tr.707.) Braboy's
claims were denied by an ALJ on June 14, 2017, after a
hearing. (Tr. 615-34.) On February 22, 2018, the Appeals
Council denied Braboy's claim for review. (Tr. 1-3.)
Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as the final decision of
the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. §§
action, Braboy argues that the ALJ “failed to fully and
fairly develop the record.” (Doc. 18 at 3.) Braboy also
contends that the “decision of the ALJ is contrary to
the weight of the evidence currently of record.”
Id. at 6.
The ALJ's Determination
first found that Braboy has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since January 1, 2010, the alleged onset
date. (Tr. 621.) In addition, the ALJ concluded that Braboy
has the following severe impairments: postural orthostatic
tachycardia syndrome (“POTS”)/ vasovagal
syncope; degenerative disc disease and degenerative joint
disease; obesity; hallux valgus of bilateral feet; pes
planus; osteoarthritis of the feet, bilateral knees, and
elbows; mild right sacroiliac joint arthritis; and
obstructive sleep apnea. Id. The ALJ found that
Braboy did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one
of the listed impairments. (Tr. 622.)
Braboy'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) with the following limitations. The claimant can
occasionally climb ramps or stairs, but no ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds. She can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel,
crouch, or crawl. She can occasionally reach overhead and can
frequently reach in all other directions. She should never be
exposed to unprotected heights, moving mechanical parts,
vibration, or operating a motor vehicle as a job duty.
found that Braboy was unable to perform any past work, but
was capable of performing other jobs existing in significant
numbers in the national economy, such as patcher,
surveillance system monitor, and polisher. (Tr. 626-28.) The
ALJ therefore concluded that Braboy was not under a
disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from
January 1, 2010, through the date of the decision. (Tr. 628.)
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits protectively filed on October
7, 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 October 7, 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 marks and citation omitted).
“Substantial evidence on the record as a whole . . .
requires a more scrutinizing analysis.” Id.
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
determine whether the Commissioner's decision is
supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole,
the Court must review ...