United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
C. IRICK UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Neal (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)
failed to apply the correct legal standard with regard to two
physicians' opinions. Doc. 17 at 14, 22. Claimant
requests that the case be remanded for further proceedings.
Id. at 26. For the reasons set forth below, the
Commissioner's final decision is
REVERSED and REMANDED.
case stems from Claimant's application for a period of
disability and disability insurance benefits and supplemental
security income. Doc. 17 at 1. Claimant alleged a disability
onset date of January 2, 2009. Id. The claims were
denied initially and upon reconsideration. Id. A
hearing was conducted and on August 29, 2017, the ALJ found
that Claimant was not disabled and issued an unfavorable
decision. Id.; R. 12-27.
THE ALJ'S DECISION.
decision, the ALJ found that Claimant has the following
severe impairments: morbid obesity, knee degenerative joint
disease, gastritis, affective disorder, and anxiety disorder.
R. 18. The ALJ further found that Claimant does not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that meets or
medically equals any listed impairment. Id.
held that Claimant has the RFC to perform 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:
She can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl,
and climb ramps and stairs, but never ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds; avoid: work at heights, work with dangerous
machinery, constant vibration, and constant temperatures over
90 degrees Fahrenheit and under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Work
tasks should be simple 1 to 3 steps, performed independently
and repetitively with no interaction with public and only
occasional interaction with co-workers and supervisors.
concluded that Claimant was unable to perform her past
relevant work. R. 25. 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. 26. The ALJ ultimately
found that Claimant “has not been under a disability,
as defined in the Social Security Act, from January 2, 2009,
through the date of this decision (20 CFR 404.1520(g) and
416.920(g)).” R. 27.
STANDARD OF REVIEW.
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).
contends that the ALJ did not apply the correct legal
standard with respect to Dr. Perdomo's opinion. Doc. 17
at 14. Because the Court agrees that the ALJ erred, it will
not review Claimant's second argument relating to Dr.
Pena's opinion. Claimant's first argument for
assignment of error is really threefold because she asserts
that the ALJ misstated the record, ...