Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cline v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

March 29, 2018

ALICIA CLINE, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          REPORTAND RECOMMENDATION

          DANIEL C. IRICK UNITES STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Alicia Cline (Claimant) appeals the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision denying her application for disability benefits. Doc. 1. Claimant raises a single argument challenging the Commissioner's final decision and, based on that argument, requests that the matter be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. Doc. 18 at 8-11, 16. The Commissioner argues that the ALJ committed no legal error and that his decision is supported by substantial evidence and should be affirmed. Id. at 11-16. The undersigned RECOMMENDS that the Commissioner's final decision be REVERSED and REMANDED for further proceedings.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY.

         This case stems from Claimant's application for disability insurance benefits, in which she alleged a disability onset date of January 1, 2010. R. 154-55. Claimant's application was denied on initial review and on reconsideration. The matter then proceeded before an ALJ. On August 31, 2015, the ALJ held a hearing, at which Claimant and her representative appeared. R. 28-59. The ALJ entered his decision on June 2, 2016, and the Appeals Council denied review on June 5, 2017. R. 1-3, 17-23. This appeal followed.

         II. THE ALJ'S DECISION.

         The ALJ found that Claimant suffered from the following severe impairments: osteoarthritis of both knees; degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine; and fibromyalgia. R. 19. The ALJ also found that Claimant suffered from a non-severe impairment of anxiety disorder. R. 19-20. The ALJ, however, determined that none of the foregoing impairments, individually or in combination, met or medically equaled any listed impairment. R. 20.

         The ALJ next found that Claimant had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform a full range of sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a)[1] with no additional limitations. Id. In light of this RFC, the ALJ found that Claimant was able to perform her past relevant work as a customer complaint clerk and an employment and claims aide. R. 22-23.[2] Thus, the ALJ concluded that Claimant was not disabled between her alleged disability onset date, January 1, 2010, through her date last insured, June 30, 2014. R. 23.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW.

         The scope of the Court's review is limited to determining whether the Commissioner applied the correct legal standards, and whether the Commissioner's findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. Winschel v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 631 F.3d 1176, 1178 (11th Cir. 2011). The Commissioner's findings of fact are conclusive if they are supported by substantial evidence, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), which is defined as “more than a scintilla and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Lewis v. Callahan, 125 F.3d 1436, 1440 (11th Cir. 1997). The Court must view the evidence as a whole, taking into account evidence favorable as well as unfavorable to the Commissioner's decision, when determining whether the decision is supported by substantial evidence. Foote v. Chater, 67 F.3d 1553, 1560 (11th Cir. 1995). The Court may not reweigh evidence or substitute its judgment for that of the Commissioner, and, even if the evidence preponderates against the Commissioner's decision, the reviewing court must affirm it if the decision is supported by substantial evidence. Bloodsworth v. Heckler, 703 F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983).

         IV. ANALYSIS.

         Claimant argues that the ALJ relied solely on objective medical evidence in rendering his credibility determination, and, thus, failed to apply the correct legal standards in rejecting Claimant's testimony. Doc. 18 at 9-11 (citing SSR 16-3p, 2016 WL 1237954 (March 24, 2016)). Thus, Claimant requests that the Commissioner's final decision be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. Id.

         The Commissioner argues that the ALJ did not rely solely on objective medical evidence in rejecting Claimant's testimony, but, instead, relied on “objective medical evidence, medical opinions, [and] daily activities” in rejecting Claimant's testimony concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of her impairments. Id. at 12-13. Thus, the Commissioner argues that the ALJ applied the correct legal standard in evaluating Claimant's credibility, and that the reasons he provided in support of his credibility determination support that determination and are supported by substantial evidence. Id. at 14-15.

         A claimant may establish “disability through his own testimony of pain or other subjective symptoms.” Dyer v. Barnhart, 395 F.3d 1206, 1210 (11th Cir. 2005). A claimant seeking to establish disability through his or her own testimony must show:

(1) evidence of an underlying medical condition; and (2) either (a) objective medical evidence confirming the severity of the alleged pain; or (b) that the objectively determined medical condition can ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.