Daniels v. Astrue (CONSENT)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER that the decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED. Signed by Honorable Judge Terry F. Moorer on 2/2/2012. (cc, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
ANDRETTI M. DANIELS,
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE,
Commissioner of Social Security
CASE NO. 2:11-cv-371-TFM
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Andretti M. Daniels (“Plaintiff” or “Daniels”) originally applied for Disability
Insurance Benefits and Social Security Income under Title II of the Social Security Act
(“the Act”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 401 et seq., on April 26, 2006. (Tr. 104-107). After being
denied, Daniels timely filed for and received a hearing before an administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) who rendered an unfavorable decision on February 12, 2009. (Tr. 27-61).
Daniels sought review by the Appeals Council who rejected review on March 22, 2011.
(Tr. 1). As a result, the ALJ’s decision became the final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security (“Commissioner”). Id. Judicial review proceeds pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g), and 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). After careful scrutiny of the record and briefs, for
reasons herein explained, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner’s decision.
I. NATURE OF THE CASE
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Daniels seeks judicial review of the Commissioner’s decision denying his
application for disability insurance benefits. United States District Courts may conduct
limited review of such decisions to determine whether they comply with applicable law
and are supported by substantial evidence. 42 U.S.C. § 405. The Court may affirm,
reverse and remand with instructions, or reverse and render a judgment. Id.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
The Court’s review of the Commissioner’s decision is a limited one. The Court’s
sole function is to determine whether the ALJ’s opinion is supported by substantial
evidence and whether the proper legal standards were applied. See Jones v. Apfel, 190
F.3d 1224, 1228 (11th Cir. 1999); Bloodsworth v. Heckler, 703 F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th
“The Social Security Act mandates that ‘findings of the Secretary as to any fact, if
supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive.’” Foote v. Chater, 67 F.3d 1553,
1560 (11th Cir. 1995) (quoting 42 U.S.C. §405(g)). Thus, this Court must find the
Commissioner’s decision conclusive if it is supported by substantial evidence. Graham v.
Apfel, 129 F.3d 1420, 1422 (11th Cir. 1997). Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla
— i.e., the evidence must do more than merely create a suspicion of the existence of a
fact, and must include such relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as
adequate to support the conclusion. Lewis v. Callahan, 125 F.3d 1436, 1440 (11th Cir.
1997) (citing Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 1427, 28 L.Ed.2d
842 (1971)); Foote, 67 F.3d at 1560 (citing Walden v. Schweiker, 672 F.2d 835, 838 (11th
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If the Commissioner’s decision is supported by substantial evidence, the district
court will affirm, even if the court would have reached a contrary result as finder of fact,
and even if the evidence preponderates against the Commissioner’s findings. Ellison v.
Barnhart, 355 F.3d 1272, 1275 (11th Cir. 2003); Edwards v. Sullivan, 937 F.2d 580, 584
n.3 (11th Cir. 1991) (quoting MacGregor v. Bowen, 786 F.2d 1050, 1053 (11th Cir.
1986)). The Court must view the evidence as a whole, taking into account evidence
favorable as well as unfavorable to the decision. Foote, 67 F.3d at 1560 (citing Chester v.
Bowen, 792 F.2d 129, 131 (11th Cir. 1986). The Court “may not decide facts anew,
reweigh the evidence, or substitute [its] judgment for that of the [Commissioner],” but
rather it “must defer to the Commissioner’s decision if it is supported by substantial
evidence.” Miles v. Chater, 84 F.3d 1397, 1400 (11th Cir. 1997) (quoting Bloodsworth,
703 F.2d at 1239).
The Court will also reverse a Commissioner’s decision on plenary review if the
decision applies incorrect law, or if the decision fails to provide the district court with
sufficient reasoning to determine that the Commissioner properly applied the law. Keeton
v. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., 21 F.3d 1064, 1066 (11th Cir. 1994) (citing
Cornelius v. Sullivan, 936 F.2d 1143, 1145 (11th Cir. 1991)). There is no presumption
that the Commissioner’s conclusions of law are valid. Id.; Brown v. Sullivan, 921 F.2d
1233, 1236 (11th Cir. 1991) (quoting MacGregor, 786 F.2d at 1053).
III. STATUTORY AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
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The Social Security Act’s general disability insurance benefits program (“DIB”)
provides income to individuals who are forced into involuntary, premature retirement,
provided they are both insured and disabled, regardless of indigence.1 See 42 U.S.C. §
423(a). The Social Security Act’s Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) is a separate
and distinct program. SSI is a general public assistance measure providing an additional
resource to the aged, blind, and disabled to assure that their income does not fall below
the poverty line.2 Eligibility for SSI is based upon proof of indigence and disability. See
42 U.S.C. §§ 1382(a), 1382c(a)(3)(A)-(C). However, despite the fact they are separate
programs, the law and regulations governing a claim for DIB and a claim for SSI are
identical; therefore, claims for DIB and SSI are treated identically for the purpose of
determining whether a claimant is disabled. Patterson v. Bowen, 799 F.2d 1455, 1456 n.
1 (11th Cir. 1986). Applicants under DIB and SSI must provide “disability” within the
meaning of the Social Security Act which defines disability in virtually identical language
for both programs. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d), 1382c(a)(3), 1382c(a)(3)(G); 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1505(a), 416.905(a). A person is entitled to disability benefits when the person is
Engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically
determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result
in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous
period of not less than 12 months.
DIB is authorized by Title II of the Social Security Act, and is funded by Social Security taxes.
See Social Security Administration, Social Security Handbook, § 136.1, available at
SSI benefits are authorized by Title XVI of the Social Security Act and are funded by general
tax revenues. See Social Security Administration, Social Security Handbook, §§ 136.2, 2100,
available at http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.html
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42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(1)(A), 1382c(a)(3)(A). A “physical or mental impairment” is one
resulting from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which are
demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. 42
U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(3), 1382c(a)(3)(D).
The Commissioner of Social Security employs a five-step, sequential evaluation
process to determine whether a claimant is entitled to benefits.
See 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520, 416.920 (2010).
(1) Is the person presently unemployed?
(2) Is the person’s impairment(s) severe?
(3) Does the person’s impairment(s) meet or equal one of the specific impairments
set forth in 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1?3
(4) Is the person unable to perform his or her former occupation?
(5) Is the person unable to perform any other work within the economy?
An affirmative answer to any of the questions leads either to the next
question, or, on steps three and five, to a finding of disability. A negative
answer to any question, other than step three, leads to a determination of
McDaniel v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 1026, 1030 (11th Cir. 1986).
The burden of proof rests on a claimant through Step 4. See Phillips v. Barnhart,
357 F.3d 1232, 1237-39 (11th Cir. 2004). Claimants establish a prima facie case of
qualifying disability once they meet the burden of proof from Step 1 through Step 4. At
This subpart is also referred to as “the Listing of Impairments” or “the Listings.”
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Step 5, the burden shifts to the Commissioner, who must then show there are a significant
number of jobs in the national economy the claimant can perform. Id.
To perform the fourth and fifth steps, the ALJ must determine the claimant’s
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). Id. at 1238-39. RFC is what the claimant is still
able to do despite his impairments and is based on all relevant medical and other
evidence. Id. It also can contain both exertional and nonexertional limitations. Id. at
1242-43. At the fifth step, the ALJ considers the claimant’s RFC, age, education, and
work experience to determine if there are jobs available in the national economy the
claimant can perform. Id. at 1239. To do this, the ALJ can either use the Medical
Vocational Guidelines4 (“grids”) or hear testimony from a vocational expert (VE). Id. at
The grids allow the ALJ to consider factors such as age, confinement to sedentary
or light work, inability to speak English, educational deficiencies, and lack of job
experience. Each factor can independently limit the number of jobs realistically available
to an individual. Id. at 1240. Combinations of these factors yield a statutorily-required
finding of “Disabled” or “Not Disabled.” Id.
IV. ADMINISTRATIVE FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
Daniels, age 33 at the time of the ALJ’s decision, completed the twelfth grade.
(Tr. 30-31.) In the relevant past, Daniels performed work cooking at Taco Bell, lacing up
machinery and acting as a twister operator at Shaw Industries.
He also worked
See 20 C.F.R. pt. 404 subpt. P, app. 2; see also 20 C.F.R. § 416.969 (use of the grids in SSI
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construction for Brunson Nichols Pipeline, loaded belts for K and W Plastics, stacked
groceries at H.B. Popp and Company, loaded groceries on a pallet for ADC and
Company, and acted as a parts assembler for a Hyundai plant. (Tr. 32-35). Daniels
alleges his disability began April 26, 2006. (Tr. 104-107). Under the regulations, when a
claimant files an SSI application, the earliest month in which he can receive benefits is
the month following the month in which his application was filed. See 20 C.F.R.§
Thus, the relevant time period for determination of Daniels’ disability is
between April 26, 2006, the date of Plaintiff’s application, (Tr. 104-107) and February 12,
2009, the date of the ALJ’s decision. (Tr. 27-61). Daniels testified that he can not work
because of chest pain and numbness in his left arm, shoulder, fingertips, and leg. (Tr. 36,
38, 53). Daniels testified that the pain is constant and began after his heart attack in 2005.
(Tr. 38). Daniels said that the pain in his shoulder, chest and legs worsens with physical
activity. (Tr. 39).
The ALJ found that Daniels has severe impairments of obesity, status post
myocardial infarction, sleep apnea and hypertension (Tr. 18), but that Daniels did not
have an impairment or a combination of impairments that meet or medically equal one of
the listed impairments. (Tr. 19). The ALJ concludes from the entire record that Daniels
“has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §
404.1567(c) and 416.967(c).” (Tr. 19). Specifically, the ALJ found that Daniels can lift
or carry fifty pounds occasionally and twenty-five pounds frequently. He can stand
and/or walk six hours in an eight-hour day and can sit six hours in an eight-hour workday.
He can occasionally push and/or pull with his left lower extremity. The ALJ found that
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Daniels cannot work in setting which expose him to extreme heat, extreme cold,
humidity, wetness, pulmonary irritants and hazardous conditions such as unprotected
heights, dangerous machinery or uneven surfaces. Daniels can not work in a place which
requires him to climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds. He has a mild restriction in daily living,
no difficulty with social functioning; mild difficulties in concentration, persistence or
pace and no episodes of decompensation. (Tr. 19).
Daniels raises four issues for judicial review. The issues and arguments Daniels
raises turn upon this Court’s ultimate inquiry of whether the Commissioner’s disability
decision is supported by the proper legal standards and by substantial evidence. See
Bridges v. Bowen, 815 F.2d 622, 624-25(11th Cir.1987). These issues are set out by
Daniels as follows:
(1) Whether the ALJ erred in making his Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”)
assessment because the record does not include any RFC assessments provided by a
physician. (See Doc. 12 at 6).
(2) Whether the ALJ failed to develop the record by not ordering a consultative
examination addressing Daniels’ anxiety for the purpose of establishing an appropriate
RFC. (See Doc. 12 at 6).
(3) Whether the ALJ erred in failing to explain the weight accorded to any of the
medical opinions of record other than that of Dr. Seiler. (See Doc. 12 at 6).
(4) Whether the ALJ erred because the RFC assessment fails to take into account
Daniels severe impairment of “sleep apnea.” (See Doc. 12 at 6).
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I. The ALJ did not err in finding Daniels’ RFC without an RFC assessment
from a physician.
Plaintiff argues that the ALJ erred in finding Daniels’ RFC without an RFC
assessment from a physician in the record. In support of this argument Plaintiff cites to
Thomason v. Barnhart, 344 F. Supp.2d 1326 (N.D. Ala. 2004) and Coleman v. Barnhart,
264 F. Supp. 2d 1007 (S.D. Ala. 2003). Contrary to Plaintiff’s argument, there is no rule
of law which requires that an ALJ’s RFC determination be supported by an assessment
from a physician.
In Thomason the lack of a formal assessment by a physician of plaintiff’s RFC was
but one of six reasons why the court concluded that substantial evidence did not support
the decision denying benefits. 344 F. Supp. 2d at 1329-30. Most importantly, there was
no citation by the Thomason Court to any source of law requiring such an assessment by a
physician for the purposes of making an RFC determination. Id. Similarly in Coleman,
the Court concluded that the ALJ’s RFC determination was not supported by substantial
evidence where “particularly in light of plaintiff’s numerous severe impairments” the
RFC was not supported by an assessment completed by a physician. 264 F. Supp. 2d at
1010-11. Furthermore, the Coleman Court likewise gave no citation to any source of law
requiring a physician’s assessment for the purposes of making an RFC determination. Id
Indeed, Judge Foy Guin of the Northern District has recently addressed this
specific question and concluded that “the law of this Circuit does not require an RFC
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from a physician.” Langley v. Astrue, 777 F.Supp.2d 1250, 1257-58 (N.D. Ala. 2011).
Moreover, the court in Langley disagreed with the Coleman case cited above because its
reasoning “attempt[s] to place the burden of proving the claimant’s RFC on the
Commissioner at step five” and this shifting of the burden is “inconsistent with the
Commissioner’s regulations, Supreme Court precedent and unpublished decisions in this
Circuit.” Id.at 1258-60. (Citations omitted.). The Court is persuaded by the reasoning of
Langley Court. Accordingly the Court concludes that Daniel’s argument fails and the
ALJ did not err in finding Plaintiff’s RFC without the benefit of a physician’s assessment
in the record.
II. The ALJ did not err in failing to order a consultative examination for the
purpose of establishing an RFC which took Daniels’ anxiety into
A residual functional capacity assessment is used to determine the claimants’
capacity to do as much as they are possibly able to do despite their limitations. See 20
C.F.R. § 404.1545(a)(1) (2010). An RFC assessment will be made based on all relevant
evidence in the case record. Id.; Lewis v. Callahan, 125 F.3d at 1440. At an ALJ
hearing, “the [ALJ] is responsible for assessing [the claimant’s] residual functional
capacity.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1546(c) (2010). The claimant is “responsible for providing
the evidence [the ALJ] will use to make a finding about [the claimant’s] residual
functional capacity.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(a)(3) (2010). The ALJ is “responsible for
developing [the claimant’s] complete medical history, including arranging for a
consultative examination(s) if necessary, and making every reasonable effort to help [the
claimant] get medical reports from [their] own medical sources. Id.; Holladay v. Bowen,
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848 F.2d 1206, 1209-10 (11th Cir. 1988). (The ALJ is not required to order a
consultative examination unless the record establishes it is necessary to render a fair
decision). The ALJ’s finding must be supported by substantial evidence. Moore v.
Barnhart, 405 F.3d 1208, 1211 (11th Cir. 2005). (Citations omitted). “Substantial
evidence is less than a preponderance, but rather such relevant evidence as a reasonable
person would accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Id.
Plaintiff argues that the ALJ erred by failing to order a consultative examination
dealing with his anxiety for the purpose of establishing an appropriate RFC. The
Commissioner’s duty to develop the record includes ordering a consultative examination
if one is needed to make an informed decision. Reeves v. Heckler, 734 F.2d 519, 522 n. 1
(11th Cir. 1984). However, where no physician recommends an additional consultation
and the record is sufficiently developed for the ALJ to make a determination, the failure
to order an additional consultative examination is not error. Good v. Astrue, 240 Fed.
Appx. 399,*3 (11th Cir. 2007) citing Wilson v. Apfel, 179 F.3d 1276, 1278 (11th Cir.
The medical records show that Dr. Kenneth Crowe treated Plaintiff for chest pain,
hypertension, anxiety, sleep apnea, and obesity in 2005-2006. (Tr. 236-266). On
February 1, 2005, Dr. Crowe saw Plaintiff as a follow-up to his recent hospitalization for
chest pain. Dr. Crowe noted that Plaintiff’s chest pain was “resolved”; his hypertension
“controlled” and he smokes but wants to quit. Dr. Crowe also noted that Plaintiff weighs
340 pounds but plans to “try a high fiber diet and exercise program for his weight and
dyslipidemia.” Plaintiff also took an exercise stress test that “was negative for any signs
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of ischemia.” (Tr. 239). On February 8, 2005, Dr. Crowe again saw Plaintiff and he
complained of fatigue, lack of energy, and sharp chest pains. Dr. Crowe diagnosed
anxiety, fatigue, musculoskeletal chest pain and hypertension–controlled. He prescribed
aspirin, Protoxin, and Lopressor and “allow[ed] him back to work immediately”. (Tr.
238.) On May 1, 2006, Plaintiff saw Dr. Crowe again complaining of chest pain and
anxiety. Dr. Crowe noted he would see Plaintiff in about five weeks following a
cardiological evaluation by Dr. Craven. Further, Dr. Crowe prescribed Diazepam “to use
sparingly, with no refills for his anxiety.” Plaintiff did not appear for his June 5, 2006
follow-up appointment with Dr. Crowe. (Tr. 236).
The record also shows that Plaintiff complained of anxiety during an examination
resulting from a single-day hospital stay in September, 2006 where he was treated for
chest pain and palpitations. (Tr. 305). However, other examinations consistently
revealed that he was alert (Tr. 186, 305, 318, 338), and oriented (Tr. 186, 305, 318, 338,
340), and demonstrated normal mood and affect (Tr. 340), and normal, coherent speech.
(Tr. 186, 338). Moreover, Plaintiff denied any psychosocial complaints. (Tr. 334, 338,
345). Indeed, Plaintiff reported that he could pay attention, follow, and remember what
he heard and watched (Tr. 49, 153), get along with others (Tr. 154), and finish most tasks.
(Tr. 155). Furthermore, Plaintiff did not seek mental health treatment, with the exception
of the limited anxiety medication prescribed by his internist, Dr. Crowe. (Tr. 236). See
Wilson v. Barnhart, 284 F.3d 1219, 1225 n.2 (11th Cir. 2002) (Lack of ongoing treatment
maybe considered in evaluating the severity of an alleged disabling impairment.).
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Additionally, Eugene E. Fleece, Ph.D. completed a psychiatric review form where he
opined that Plaintiff’s anxiety was “Not Severe”. (Tr. 290).
In his decision the ALJ recognizes that Plaintiff suffers from anxiety and notes that
he “has never received any mental health treatment and receives medication from his
treating physician for mild anxiety. (Tr. 22). The ALJ concluded that Plaintiff’s anxiety
was “non-severe” and resulted in a “mild restriction” in “daily living”; “no difficulties”
in “social functioning”; “mild difficulties” in concentration, persistence . . .[and] pace”;
and “no episodes of decompensation.” (Tr. 19). The Court concludes based upon an
independent review of the record, including the medical records of Plaintiff’s treating
physicians and Plaintiff’s own testimony, that the ALJ did not err in failing to order a
consultative examination concerning Plaintiff’s anxiety. See Good, 240 Fed. Appx at *3
(where the Court found no error in the ALJ’s failure to order a consultative examination
because the record was sufficiently developed for the ALJ to make an informed
determination and there was no recommendation by a physician for an additional
III. The ALJ’s finding that Plaintiff has the Residual Functional Capacity to
perform medium work with certain limitations is supported by substantial
The ALJ’s RFC finding must be supported by substantial evidence. Moore v.
Barnhart, 405 F.3d at 1211. (Citations omitted). “Substantial evidence is less than a
preponderance, but rather such relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Id. The ALJ found that Plaintiff has severe
impairments of obesity, status post myocardial infarction, sleep apnea and hypertension
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and anxiety, which is non-severe, but concluded that Plaintiff’s severe and non-severe
impairments did not preclude him from performing a reduced range of medium work.
The medical evidence demonstrates and there is no dispute that Plaintiff has
“severe” status post myocardial infarction. However, examinations between 2005 and
2008 reveal Plaintiff has normal extremity pulses (Tr. 343, 359) and regular cardiac rate
and rhythm without abnormal sounds. (Tr. 190, 236-37, 274, 306, 319, 334, 339, 343,
359). A graded exercise test revealed a low probability of any significant coronary
disease. (Tr. 189, 200, 208, 236, 272). Electrocardiograms were normal or only
minimally abnormal. (Tr. 187, 190, 193, 195, 236, 274, 306, 369). Cardiac
catheterization revealed normal coronary anatomy, normal left ventricular systolic
function, and the absence of mitral regurgitation. (Tr. 277, 305). A carotid ultrasound
revealed only mild abnormalities that were not hemodynamically significant. (Tr. 366368). An echocardiogram revealed only mild abnormalities. (Tr. 359-360, 371-372).
Indeed, a hospital record for September 28th - 29th 2006 shows Plaintiff admitted
complaining of heart palpitations, but at the time of release he was pain-free, and the
shortness of breath and palpitations were resolved. (Tr. 305-306). Additionally, Plaintiff
had an office exam on April 7, 2008 complaining of a “heart murmur” and “weakness left
side” and “numbness”. (Tr.357) A follow-up office exam on April 15, 2008
demonstrated no complaints of cardiac pain and that “numbness is some better”. (Tr.
361). The ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff’s allegations of a disabling heart condition
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not supported by the medical evidence of record. Results of the claimant’s
catheterization were noted to be normal as were imaging studies. It is noted
that no physician has placed any restrictions on the claimant’s activities.
With respect to Plaintiff’s “severe” hypertension, Plaintiff reported feeling “well”
while taking his prescribed hypertension medication. (Tr. 237). Additionally, the
evidence shows that Plaintiff’s “severe” impairment of sleep apnea, as found by the ALJ,
(Tr. 18) was corrected with the use of a CPAP device, (Tr. 227) and Plaintiff reported
using this device without difficulty. (Tr. 317-318). See Dawkins v. Bowen,848 F. 2d
1211,1213 (11th Cir.1988). (A remediable or controllable medical condition is generally
not disabling.) (Citations omitted). Furthermore, with respect to the Plaintiff’s “severe’
impairment of obesity, the Court finds in light of the favorable objective medical findings
and effective treatment summarized above that Plaintiff has failed to establish an obesity
related or exacerbated cardiac impairment resulting in limitations pursuant to S.S.R. 021p. Indeed, the burden of proving disability rests on the claimant, and the claimant is
responsible for producing evidence that supports his claim and allows both the ALJ and
the Commissioner to reach the proper conclusion. 20 C.F.R. § 416.912(a).
The Plaintiff also argues that the ALJ erred because he failed to explain the weight
accorded to any of the medical opinions of record other than that of Dr. Seiler. (Pl. Brief
at p 6). Discretion is given to the ALJ because the Eleventh Circuit stated “there is no
rigid requirement that the ALJ specifically refer to every piece of evidence in his decision
so long as [his] decision . . . is not a broad rejection which is ‘not enough to enable [a
court] to conclude that the ALJ considered [a claimant’s] medical condition as a whole.’”
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Dyer v. Barnhart, 395 F.3d 1206,1211 (11th Cir. 2005) (quoting Foote, 67 F.3d at 1561).
The Court notes that no examining or treating physician rendered an opinion regarding
Plaintiff’s residual functional capacity. Only Dr. Warren Seiler, who performed a general
consultative exam on October 17, 2006, opined that “there were no physical examination
findings” to support Plaintiff’s claims of disability. (Tr. 21-22). Plaintiff further
complains that the ALJ failed to refer to any of the medical evidence of record from Dr.
Butler, whom Plaintiff saw on three occasions in 2008. (Tr. 352-382). The Court notes
that the ALJ summarized the medical evidence from Drs. Crowe and Craven from 2005
through September 2006 and based upon this court’s independent review of the medical
evidence, the court concludes that the medical records from Dr. Butler are generally
consistent with the medical records from Drs. Crowe and Craven, discussed above. Thus,
the Court concludes based upon a review of the record as a whole that the ALJ’s RFC
finding is supported by substantial evidence. Moore, 405 F.3d at 1211.
Pursuant to the findings and conclusions detailed in this Memorandum Opinion,
the Court concludes that the ALJ’s non-disability determination is supported by
substantial evidence and proper application of the law. It is, therefore, ORDERED that
the decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED. A separate judgment is entered
DONE this 2nd day of January, 2012.
/s/ Terry F. Moorer
TERRY F. MOORER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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