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Provost v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

July 1, 2019

TINA MARIE PROVOST, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

          DANIEL C. IRICK UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Tina Marie Provost (Claimant) appeals the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision denying her application for disability benefits and supplemental security income. Doc. 1. Claimant argues that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) erred by applying the wrong legal standards to the opinion of her treating physician. Doc. 19 at 12. Claimant requests that the case be remanded for further proceedings. Id. at 16. For the reasons set forth below, the Commissioner's final decision is AFFIRMED.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY.

         This case stems from Claimant's application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Doc. 19 at 1. In both applications Claimant's alleged a disability onset date of November 1, 2012. Id. The claims were denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. A hearing was conducted and on June 14, 2017, the ALJ found that Claimant was not disabled and issued an unfavorable decision. Id.; R. 23-24.

         II. THE ALJ'S DECISION.

         In the decision, the ALJ found that Claimant has the following severe impairments: lumbar degenerative disc disease with radiculopathy, cervical degenerative disc disease, headache syndrome, mood disorder, panic disorder, personality disorder, myocardial bridge, hypertension, thyroid disorder, degenerative joint disease of the left knee, restless leg syndrome, bipolar disorder, obesity, and neuropathy. R. 13.

         The ALJ further found that Claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals any listed impairment. R. 13.

         The ALJ found that Claimant has the RFC to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a) and 20 C.F.R. § 416.967(a) with the following specific limitations:

She needs the option to change from sitting to standing at least every 30 minutes which is a brief positional change lasting no more than 3 minutes at a tie where the claimant remains at the workstation during the positional change. She can occasionally use hand controls, reach overhead and climb stairs and ramps. The claimant cannot climb ladders or scaffolds, or crawl. She can frequently balance, stoop and crouch. The claimant should not work in any environments with unprotected heights, moving mechanical parts and temperature extremes. She is limited to simple tasks and simple work related decisions and have no interaction with the public and just occasional interaction with coworkers and supervisors.

R. 15. The ALJ concluded that Claimant was unable to perform her past relevant work. R. 22. The ALJ determined that considering Claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy. R. 22-23. The ALJ ultimately found that Claimant “has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from November 1, 2012, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).” 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) (quotations omitted). 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 raises one assignment of error in the Joint Motion. Doc. 19 at 12. Claimant argues that the ALJ failed to apply the correct legal standards to the opinion of Dr. Horenstein. Id. Claimant describes Dr. Horenstein as her ...


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