Everett Flesher v. Carolyn Colvin
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 2:14-cv-30661 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-1645]
Pg: 1 of 3
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
EVERETT CURTIS FLESHER,
Plaintiff - Appellant,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security,
Defendant - Appellee.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia,
at Charleston. Thomas E. Johnston, Chief District Judge. (2:14-cv-30661)
Submitted: August 30, 2017
Decided: September 19, 2017
Before DUNCAN, DIAZ, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Michelle Kuhar Dyer, Jan Denise Dils, JAN DILS, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, PLC,
Parkersburg, West Virginia, for Appellant. Nora Koch, Stephen Giacchino, Patrick
Roach, Social Security Administration, Office of the General Counsel, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania; Carol A. Casto, United States Attorney, Stephen M. Horn, Assistant
United States Attorney, Charleston, West Virginia, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
Pg: 2 of 3
Everett Curtis Flesher appeals the district court’s order accepting the
recommendation of the magistrate judge and denying relief on his complaint for review
of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) denial of disability
insurance benefits. “When examining an SSA disability determination, a reviewing court
is required to uphold the determination when an [administrative law judge (ALJ)] has
applied correct legal standards and the ALJ’s factual findings are supported by substantial
evidence.” Bird v. Commissioner, 699 F.3d 337, 340 (4th Cir. 2012). “Substantial
evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.”
Johnson v. Barnhart, 434 F.3d 650, 653 (4th Cir. 2005)
(alteration and internal quotation marks omitted). “It consists of more than a mere
scintilla of evidence but may be less than a preponderance.” Pearson v. Colvin, 810 F.3d
204, 207 (4th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted). We do not reweigh evidence
or make credibility determinations in evaluating whether a decision is supported by
substantial evidence; “[w]here conflicting evidence allows reasonable minds to differ,”
we defer to the ALJ’s decision. Johnson, 434 F.3d at 653.
In order to establish entitlement to benefits, a claimant must provide evidence of a
medically determinable impairment that precludes returning to past relevant work and
adjustment to other work.
20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1508, 404.1520(g) (2012).
Commissioner uses a five-step process to evaluate a disability claim.
§ 404.1520 (2011).
Pursuant to this process, the Commissioner asks, in sequence,
whether the claimant: (1) worked during the alleged period of disability; (2) had a severe
Pg: 3 of 3
impairment; (3) had an impairment that met or equaled the severity of a listed
impairment; (4) could return to his past relevant work; and (5) if not, could perform any
other work in the national economy. Id.; see also Lewis v. Berryhill, 858 F.3d 858, 861
(4th Cir. 2017). The claimant bears the burden of proof at steps one through four, but the
burden shifts to the Commissioner at step five. See Lewis, 858 F.3d at 861. If the ALJ
determines that a claimant failed to demonstrate that his disability meets or medically
equals a listed impairment at step three, the ALJ must assess the claimant’s residual
functioning capacity before proceeding to step four. Id. at 861-62.
We have thoroughly reviewed the record and conclude that the Commissioner’s
decision is supported by substantial evidence and was reached through application of the
correct legal standards. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s order. We dispense
with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in
the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?