United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Scott Eddingfield brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration Commissioner's denial of his application
for Disability Insurance Benefits under Title II of the
Social Security Act.
Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") found that,
despite Eddingfield's severe 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
reversed and remanded.
filed his application for benefits on May 15, 2015, claiming
that he became unable to work on February 1, 2014. (Tr.
180-81.) In his Disability Report, Eddingfield alleged
disability due to Parkinson's disease,  dyskinesia,
dystonia, depression, a herniated disc at L4-L5, rheumatoid
arthritis, a knee impairment, migraines, insomnia, and a
melanoma. (Tr. 207.) Eddingfield was 46 years of age at his
alleged onset of disability. (Tr. 24.) His application was
denied initially. (Tr. 75-81.) Eddingfield's claim was
denied by an ALJ on January 29, 2018. (Tr. 15-26.) On July
24, 2018, the Appeals Council denied Eddingfield's claim
for review. (Tr. 1-5.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands
as the final decision of the Commissioner. See 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 416.1481.
action, Eddingfield raises the following claims: (1)
"There is no explanation of how the evidence supports
the RFC, " (2) "The ALJ failed to conduct a proper
credibility determination when discounting Plaintiffs
pain/subjective complaints;" and (3) "The ALJ
improperly afforded Plaintiffs treating physician's
opinion 'little weight.'" (Doc. 19 at pp. 3, 5,
The ALJ's Determination
first found that Eddingfield last met the insured status
requirements of the Act on March 31, 2015. (Tr. 17.) She next
found that Eddingfield did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from his alleged onset date of
February 1, 2014, through his date last insured of March 31,
2015. Id. The ALJ concluded that, through his date
last insured, Eddingfield had the following severe
impairments: right and left knee osteoarthritis, degenerative
disc disease of the cervical and lumbar spine, obesity, and
Parkinson's disease. (Tr. 18.) The ALJ found that
Eddingfield did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one
of the listed impairments. (Tr. 19.)
Eddingfield's RFC, the ALJ stated:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the
claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform
sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) except: the
claimant can occasionally lift, carry, push, and pull 10
pounds; frequently lift, carry, push, and pull less than 10
pounds; sit for six hours; stand for two hours; and walk for
two hours in an 8-hour work day. The claimant can handle
items frequently with the left and right hands; and finger
frequently with the left and right hands. The claimant can
occasionally climb ramps and stairs; never climb ladders,
ropes, or scaffolds; occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, and
crouch; and never crawl. The claimant can never work at
unprotected heights or near moving mechanical parts. The
claimant is limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks.
The claimant is limited to simple work-related decisions.
found that Eddingfield was unable to perform any past
relevant work through the date last insured, but was capable
of performing other jobs existing in significant numbers in
the national economy, such as production assembler, general
office clerk, and accounting clerk. (Tr. 24-25.) The ALJ
therefore concluded that Eddingfield was not under a
disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any
time from February 1, 2014, the alleged onset date, through
March 31, 2015, the date last insured. (Tr. 25.)
ALJ's final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits protectively filed on May 15,
2015, the claimant was not disabled under sections 216(i) and
223(d) of the Social Security Act through March 31, 2015, the
last date insured.
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 ...