Latroy Golden v. Commissioner of Social Securi
Per Curiam OPINION filed : the district court's judgment is AFFIRMED, decision not for publication. Julia Smith Gibbons, Jeffrey S. Sutton, and David W. McKeague, Circuit Judges.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 15a0087n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
Jan 28, 2015
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED
STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF
BEFORE: GIBBONS, SUTTON, and McKEAGUE, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM. Latroy Golden appeals the district court’s judgment affirming the denial
of her applications for child’s insurance benefits and supplemental security income benefits.
In 2008, Golden filed applications for child’s insurance benefits and supplemental
security income benefits, alleging that she became disabled on December 21, 1988. After the
Social Security Administration denied the applications, Golden requested a hearing before an
administrative law judge (ALJ).
The ALJ denied Golden relief, and the Appeals Council
declined to review the case. The district court affirmed the denial of Golden’s applications.
On appeal, Golden argues that the ALJ erred by concluding that she failed to satisfy the
requirements of the regulatory listing for mental retardation (now referred to as “intellectual
disability”) set forth in 20 C.F.R. pt. 404, subpt. P, app. 1, § 12.05(C). “Our review of the ALJ’s
decision is limited to whether the ALJ applied the correct legal standards and whether the
findings of the ALJ are supported by substantial evidence.” Blakley v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 581
Golden v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec.
F.3d 399, 405 (6th Cir. 2009). “The substantial-evidence standard is met if a reasonable mind
might accept the relevant evidence as adequate to support a conclusion.” Id. at 406 (internal
quotation marks omitted). “We give de novo review to the district court’s conclusions on each
To meet the regulatory listing in § 12.05(C), a claimant must show (1) significantly
subaverage general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive functioning initially
manifested before age 22; (2) a valid verbal, performance, or full scale IQ of 60 through 70; and
(3) a physical or other mental impairment imposing an additional and significant work-related
limitation of function. See Foster v. Halter, 279 F.3d 348, 354 (6th Cir. 2001). Golden contends
that the ALJ erred by concluding that her general intellectual functioning was borderline rather
than significantly subaverage and that she failed to establish the presence of an impairment
imposing an additional and significant work-related functional limitation.
Substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s determination that Golden did not suffer from
significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning. Golden’s mental health records and the
opinions of the reviewing licensed psychologists support that determination.
indicated that Golden had normal mental-status findings, including normal mood, affect, speech,
memory, behavior, appearance, and goal-oriented thought. And the psychologists opined that
Golden’s impairments appeared short of the listings. Additionally, Golden held semi-skilled jobs
in the past, including jobs at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. That is enough to make a reasonable
person accept the evidence as adequate to support the ALJ’s conclusion—all that is needed here,
Warner v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 375 F.3d 387, 390 (6th Cir. 2004)—and thus it meets the
Golden v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec.
Golden’s arguments in response do not change this conclusion. For one, the ALJ did not
err in discounting the medical opinions of Perry Adams and Jakatae Jessup—two “senior
psychological examiners” who concluded that Golden was mildly mentally retarded or had
borderline to extremely low intellectual functioning—because the examiners were not
“acceptable medical sources.” See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1513(a)(2), 416.913(a)(2) (stating that
acceptable medical sources include licensed or certified psychologists, school psychologists, and
other licensed or certified individuals who perform the same function as a school psychologist in
a school setting). Outside of the school context, the regulations do not include the “equivalent”
of a licensed psychologist, contra Appellant Br. 20; they are limited to licensed or certified
psychologists only. And neither Adams nor Jessup, as “senior psychological examiners,” fit that
Compare Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-11-202(c) (defining “senior psychological
examiner”), with §§ 63-11-203, 63-11-208 (separately defining the practice and licensing
scheme of a “psychologist”); cf. Elam ex rel. Golay v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 348 F.3d 124, 126
(6th Cir. 2003) (holding that a licensed individual deemed a “psychological associate” by
Kentucky law did not constitute a “psychologist” for purposes of the regulation).
For two, Golden’s IQ scores on their own fail to establish that her intellectual functioning
was significantly subaverage. Barnett ex rel. D.B. v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 573 F. App’x 461,
463-64 (6th Cir. 2014).
And for three, we need not address Golden’s argument that she established the presence
of an impairment imposing an additional and significant work-related functional limitation
because substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s conclusion concerning Golden’s general
Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment.
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