United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER
MIRANDO, United States Magistrate Judge
Craig Jackson seeks judicial review of the denial of his
claims for a period of disability and disability insurance
benefits (“DIB”) and supplemental security income
(“SSI”) by the Commissioner of the Social
Security Administration (“Commissioner”). The
Court has reviewed the record, the briefs and the applicable
law. For the reasons discussed herein, the decision of the
Commissioner is AFFIRMED.
Issue on Appeal
raises one issue on appeal: whether the Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) properly assessed medical source
Summary of the ALJ's Decision
April 10, 2012, Plaintiff filed applications for DIB and SSI,
alleging his disability began February 2, 2012 due to tardive
dyskinesia and bipolar disorder. Tr. 74, 219. On March 27,
2015, ALJ Joseph L. Brinkley issued a decision finding
Plaintiff not disabled. Tr. 14-22. At step one, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the
Social Security Act on February 2, 2012, the alleged onset
date, and remained insured throughout the period of the
decision. Tr. 16.
The ALJ also found Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since February 2, 2012. Id.
Although the ALJ determined Plaintiff has several severe
impairments, he concluded that Plaintiffs condition
“has not met or medically equaled a listing in 20 CFR
Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.” Tr. 16-17. The ALJ
then held Plaintiff has the RFC to perform light
with certain limitations. Tr. 17.
Next, the ALJ found that Plaintiff has been unable to perform
his past relevant work. Tr. 21. The ALJ found a significant
number of jobs existed for Plaintiff in the national economy
within twelve months of February 2, 2012. Id.
Standard of Review
scope of this Court's review is limited to determining
whether the ALJ applied the correct legal standards and
whether the findings are supported by substantial evidence.
McRoberts v. Bowen, 841 F.2d 1077, 1080 (11th Cir.
1988) (citing Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389,
390 (1971)). The Commissioner's findings of fact are
conclusive if supported by substantial evidence. 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). Substantial evidence is “more than a
scintilla, i.e., evidence that must do more than
create a suspicion of the existence of the fact to be
established, and such relevant evidence as a reasonable
person would accept as adequate to support the
conclusion.” Foote v. Chater, 67 F.3d 1553,
1560 (11th Cir. 1995) (internal citations omitted).
Eleventh Circuit has restated that “[i]n determining
whether substantial evidence supports a decision, we give
great deference to the ALJ's fact findings.”
Hunter v. Soc. Sec. Admin., Comm'r, 808 F.3d
818, 822 (11th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted). Where the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence, the district court will affirm, even if the
reviewer would have reached a contrary result as finder of
fact or found that the preponderance of the evidence is
against the Commissioner's decision. Edwards v.
Sullivan, 937 F.2d 580, 584 n.3 (11th Cir. 1991);
Barnes v. Sullivan, 932 F.2d 1356, 1358 (11th Cir.
1991); see also Lowery v. Sullivan, 979 F.2d 835,
837 (11th Cir. 1992) (stating that the court must scrutinize
the entire record to determine the reasonableness of the
factual findings). The Court reviews the Commissioner's
conclusions of law under a de novo standard of
review. Ingram v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin.,
496 F.3d 1253, 1260 (11th Cir. 2007) (citing Martin v.
Sullivan, 894 F.2d 1520, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990)).
the ALJ properly assessed medical source opinions
issue here are the opinions of two physicians, Robert Cross,
M.D., a cardiologist who treated Plaintiff from June 10, 2013
to February 14, 2014, and a state agency medical consultant,
James Patty, M.D. Tr. 96-99, 559-88, 657-59, 710-19. As
accurately summarized ...