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Perry v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

August 5, 2019

DONALD PERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

          DANIEL C. IRICK UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Donald Perry (Claimant) appeals the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision denying his application for disability benefits and supplemental security income. Doc. 1. Claimant argues that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) “was in error in failing to credit the Claimant's complaints of fatigue and/or failing to make it clear, the weight given to the Claimant's statements and the reason for that weight.” Doc. 30. Claimant requests that the ALJ's decision be reversed or the Court remand for further consideration of Claimant's allegations of fatigue due to sleep deprivation. Id. 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. 30 at 1. Claimant alleged a disability onset date of January 1, 2013. Id. The claims were denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. A hearing was conducted and on May 23, 2017, the ALJ found that Claimant was not disabled and issued an unfavorable decision. Id.

         II. THE ALJ'S DECISION.

         In the decision, the ALJ found that Claimant has the following severe impairments: diabetes mellitus; hypertension; hyperlipidemia; gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD]; insomnia; obesity; depressive disorder; anxiety; and posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]. R. 21. The ALJ further found that Claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals any listed impairment. R. 22.

         The ALJ found that Claimant has the RFC to perform less than the full range of light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b) and 20 C.F.R. § 416.967(b) with the following specific limitations:

Claimant can lift, carry, push and/or pull twenty pounds occasionally and ten pounds frequently. The claimant can stand and walk for approximately six hours and can sit for approximately six hours in an eight-hour workday with normal breaks. The claimant can occasionally climb stairs, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl but should never climb ladders or scaffolds. The claimant must avoid exposure to vibration, unprotected heights, and hazardous machinery. The claimant can perform tasks that are simple, routine in nature and require only one to five steps learned in thirty days or less. The claimant can have no interaction with the general public unless it is merely superficial (meaning giving simple information back and forth) and only occasional interaction with coworkers.

R. 25.

         The ALJ concluded that Claimant was unable to perform his past relevant work. R. 30. 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. 31. The ALJ ultimately found that Claimant “has not been under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from January 1, 2013, through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and 416.920(g)).” R. 32.

         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. 30 at 15. Claimant argues that the ALJ “was in error for failing to credit the Claimant's complaints of fatigue and/or failing to make it clear, the weight given the Claimant's statements and the reason for that weight.” Doc. 30 at 7. Claimant states that the focus must be on whether the evidence establishes a medically determinable impairment that could reasonably be expected to produce the individual's symptoms. Id. Claimant then cites to the hearing where he testified to being 5'11” tall and 300 pounds, that he has anxiety attacks two times per week, that some nights he gets 3 ...


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