United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
EMILY A. FILMORE, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Emily Filmore brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), seeking judicial review of the Social Security
Administration Commissioner’s denial of her application
for Disability Insurance Benefits under Title II of the
Social Security Act.
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) found that,
despite Filmore’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
reversed and remanded.
filed her application for benefits on August 1, 2015,
claiming that she became unable to work on January 1, 2007.
(Tr. 165.) In her Disability Report, Filmore alleged
disability due to dermatomyositis,  fibromyalgia, chronic
migraines, vitamin D deficiency, chronic shingles, repeated
retina detachments, macular puckers, other eye problems,
irritable bowel syndrome, neck pain and weakness, and
autoimmune diseases. (Tr. 207.) Filmore was 30 years of age
at her alleged onset of disability. (Tr. 17.) Her application
was denied initially. (Tr. 89.) Filmore’s claim was
denied by an ALJ on January 18, 2018. (Tr. 10-19.) On July
26, 2018, the Appeals Council denied Filmore’s claim
for review. (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, Filmore raises the following claims: (1) “The
ALJ erred in finding Filmore had an unrestricted capacity to
maintain a full-time work schedule without excessive
absences, and failed to articulate analysis despite the issue
being central to Filmore’s claim, ” and (2)
“The ALJ erred in rejecting the treating physician
opinion on grounds that applied only to one aspect of it,
failing to apply the regulatory factors used when weighing
such evidence.” (Doc. 8 at pp. 7, 11.)
The ALJ’s Determination
first found that Filmore last met the insured status
requirements of the Act on December 31, 2010. (Tr. 12.) He
next found that Filmore did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from her alleged onset date of
January 1, 2007, through her date last insured of December
31, 2010. Id. The ALJ concluded that, through her
date last insured, Filmore had the following severe
impairment: dermatomyositis. Id. The ALJ found that
Filmore did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one
of the listed impairments. Id.
Filmore’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 she
could only occasionally climb ramps and stairs. She could
never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. She could never
work at unprotected, dangerous heights or around unprotected,
dangerous machinery. She could not ambulate on unimproved
terrain. She could not tolerate exposure to whole body
vibration. She could only occasionally use her legs to
operate foot controls. She could occasionally stoop kneel,
crouch, and crawl. She needed to avoid concentrated exposure
to extreme cold and heat. She could perform simple,
found that Filmore 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 document preparer, gager, and
surveillance system monitor. (Tr. 17-18.) The ALJ therefore
concluded that Filmore was not under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, at any time from January 1, 2007,
the alleged onset date, through December 31, 2010, the date
last insured. (Tr. 19.)
ALJ’s final decision reads as follows:
Based on the application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits protectively filed on August 1,
2015, the claimant was not disabled under sections 216(i) and
223(d) of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2010,
the last date insured.
A. 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 ...