Mabrey v. Social Security Administration, Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Abdul K Kallon on 05/09/12. (CVA)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
2012 May-09 PM 04:07
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
Civil Action Number
Plaintiff Paula Mabrey (“Mabrey”) brings this action pursuant to Section
205(g) of the Social Security Act (“the Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking review
of the final adverse decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (“SSA”). This Court finds that the Administrative Law Judge’s
(“ALJ”) decision - which has become the decision of the Commissioner - is
supported by substantial evidence, and, therefore, AFFIRMS the decision denying
I. Procedural History
Mabrey filed her application for Title II Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) on August 17, 2007, originally alleging a disability onset date of June 30,
Page 1 of 19
2004, (R. 15, 104), but subsequently amending the onset date to June 29, 2007, (R.
34). In support of her application, Mabrey contends that “degenerative disc
disease of the cervical and lumbar spine and Fibromyalgia, [and] radiculopathy
into her hips” makes her “unable to perform work[,] even sedentary work[,] due to
the limitations and pain.” (R. 34-35). The SSA initially denied Mabrey’s
application on December 21, 2007, (R. 55), and on January 11, 2008, Mabrey
requested a hearing before the ALJ, (R. 63), which occurred on November 19,
2009. (R. 31-53). At the time of the hearing, Mabrey was 57 years old with a high
school diploma. (R. 35). Mabrey has not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since June 30, 2004. (R. 34). Her past relevant work includes light to medium
and semi-skilled work as a unit clerk. (R. 50).
On December 14, 2009, the ALJ denied Mabrey’s claims, (R. 15-24), which
became the final decision of the Commissioner when the Appeals Council refused
to grant review. (R. 1-3). Mabrey then filed this action for judicial review
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Doc. 1.
II. Standard of Review
The only issues before this court are whether the record contains substantial
evidence to sustain the ALJ’s decision, see 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Walden v.
Schweiker, 672 F.2d 835, 838 (11th Cir. 1982), and whether the ALJ applied the
correct legal standards, see Lamb v. Bowen, 847 F.2d 698, 701 (11th Cir. 1988);
Page 2 of 19
Chester v. Bowen, 792 F.2d 129, 131 (11th Cir. 1986). Title 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
mandates that the Commissioner’s “factual findings are conclusive if supported by
‘substantial evidence.’” Martin v. Sullivan, 894 F.2d 1520, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990).
The district court may not reconsider the facts, reevaluate the evidence, or
substitute its judgment for that of the Commissioner; instead, it must review the
final decision as a whole and determine if the decision is “reasonable and
supported by substantial evidence.” See id. (citing Bloodsworth v. Heckler, 703
F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983)).
Substantial evidence falls somewhere between a scintilla and a
preponderance of evidence; “[i]t is such relevant evidence as a reasonable person
would accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Martin, 849 F.2d at 1529
(quoting Bloodsworth, 703 F.2d at 1239) (other citations omitted). If supported by
substantial evidence, the court must affirm the Commissioner’s factual findings
even if the preponderance of the evidence is against the Commissioner’s findings.
See Martin, 894 F.2d at 1529. While the court acknowledges that judicial review
of the ALJ’s findings is limited in scope, it notes that the review “does not yield
automatic affirmance.” Lamb, 847 F.2d at 701.
III. Statutory and Regulatory Framework
To qualify for disability benefits, a claimant must show “the inability to
engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable
Page 3 of 19
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 twelve
months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). A physical or mental impairment is “an
impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological
abnormalities which are demonstrated by medically acceptable clinical and
laboratory diagnostic techniques.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(3).
Determination of disability under the Act requires a five step analysis.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)-(f). Specifically, the Commissioner must determine in
whether the claimant is currently unemployed;
whether the claimant has a severe impairment;
whether the impairment meets or equals one listed by the Secretary;
whether the claimant is unable to perform his or her past work; and
whether the claimant is unable to perform any work in the national
McDaniel v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 1026, 1030 (11th Cir. 1986). “An affirmative
answer to any of the above 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 ‘not disabled.’” Id. at 1030 (citing 20
C.F.R. § 416.920(a)-(f)). “Once a finding is made that a claimant cannot return to
Page 4 of 19
prior work the burden shifts to the Secretary to show other work the claimant can
do.” Foote v. Chater, 67 F.3d 1553, 1559 (11th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted).
Lastly, where, as here, a plaintiff alleges disability because of pain, she must
meet additional criteria. In this circuit, “a three part ‘pain standard’ [is applied]
when a claimant seeks to establish disability through his or her own testimony of
pain or other subjective symptoms.” Holt v. Barnhart, 921 F.2d 1221, 1223 (11th
Cir. 1991). Specifically,
The pain standard requires (1) evidence of an underlying medical
condition and either (2) objective medical evidence that confirms the
severity of the alleged pain arising from that condition or (3) that the
objectively determined medical condition is of such a severity that it
can be reasonably expected to give rise to the alleged pain.1
Id. However, medical evidence of pain itself, or of its intensity, is not required:
While both the regulations and the Hand standard require objective
medical evidence of a condition that could reasonably be expected to
cause the pain alleged, neither requires objective proof of the pain
itself. Thus under both the regulations and the first (objectively
identifiable condition) and third (reasonably expected to cause pain
alleged) parts of the Hand standard a claimant who can show that his
condition could reasonably be expected to give rise to the pain he
alleges has established a claim of disability and is not required to
produce additional, objective proof of the pain itself. See 20 CFR §§
404.1529 and 416.929; Hale [v. Bowen, 831 F.2d 1007, 1011 (11th
Elam v. R.R. Ret. Bd., 921 F.2d 1210, 1215 (11th Cir. 1991) (parenthetical
This standard is referred to as the Hand standard, named after Hand v. Heckler, 761
F.2d 1545, 1548 (11th Cir. 1985).
Page 5 of 19
information omitted) (emphasis added). Moreover, “[a] claimant’s subjective
testimony supported by medical evidence that satisfies the pain standard is itself
sufficient to support a finding of disability.” Holt, 921 F.2d at 1223. Therefore, if
a claimant testifies to disabling pain and satisfies the three part pain standard, the
ALJ must find him disabled unless the ALJ properly discredits his testimony.
Furthermore, when the ALJ fails to credit a claimant’s pain testimony, the
ALJ must articulate reasons for that decision:
It is established in this circuit that if the [ALJ] fails to articulate reasons for
refusing to credit a claimant’s subjective pain testimony, then the [ALJ], as
a matter of law, has accepted that testimony as true. Implicit in this rule is
the requirement that such articulation of reasons by the [ALJ] be supported
by substantial evidence.
Hale, 831 F.2d at 1012. Therefore, if the ALJ either fails to articulate reasons for
refusing to credit the plaintiff’s pain testimony, or if the ALJ’s reasons are not
supported by substantial evidence, the court must accept as true the pain testimony
of the plaintiff and render a finding of disability. Id.
IV. The ALJ’s Decision
As a threshold matter, the court notes that the ALJ properly applied the five
step analysis. See McDaniel, 800 F.2d at 1030. Initially, the ALJ determined that
Mabrey had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 30, 2004, and
Page 6 of 19
therefore met Step One. (R. 17).2 The ALJ acknowledged that Mabrey’s severe
impairments of degenerative disc disease of the cervical and lumbar spine and
fibromyalgia met Step Two. Id. The ALJ proceeded to the next step and found
that Mabrey failed to satisfy Step Three since her impairments or combination of
impairments neither met nor equaled the requirements for any listed impairment.
(R. 20). Although he answered Step Three in the negative, consistent with the
law, see McDaniel, 800 F.2d at 1030, the ALJ proceeded to Step Four where he
determined that Mabrey had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to
[P]erform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except the
claimant is able to occasionally lift and/or carry up to 20 pounds,
frequently lift and/or carry up to 10 pounds, stand and/or walk about
six hours in an eight hour work day, sit about six hours in an eight
hour workday, and perform unlimited pushing and pulling. The
claimant is able to frequently climb ramp/stairs, but never ladder,
rope, or scaffolds. She could frequently balance, stoop, kneel, or
crawl. The claimant has no manipulative, visual, or communicative
limitations. She should avoid concentrated exposure to extreme cold.
Finally, the claimant’s RFC is reduced because she experiences mild
to moderate pain.
(R. 21). Further, the ALJ held that Mabrey “is capable of performing past relevant
work as a unit clerk. This work does not require performance of work-related
activities precluded by the claimant’s residual functional capacity.” (R. 23).
Because the ALJ answered Step Four in the negative, the ALJ determined that
While Mabrey amended the onset date to June 29, 2007 at the ALJ Hearing, (R. 34), the
ALJ apparently considered all medical evidence from Mabrey’s original onset date of June 30,
Page 7 of 19
Mabrey is not disabled. (R. 24); see also McDaniel, 800 F.2d at 1030. As it
relates to the pain standard, the ALJ found that Mabrey’s “medically determinable
impairments could reasonably be expected to cause the alleged symptoms;
however, [Mabrey’s] statements concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting
effects of these symptoms are not credible to the extent they are inconsistent with
the above [RFC] assessment.” (R. 22).
The court turns now to Mabrey’s contentions of error. See doc. 8. Mabrey
argues that the ALJ (1) failed to properly apply the Hand pain standard, id. at 8;
(2) failed to give proper weight to a treating physician, id. at 10; and (3) failed to
properly apply the medical-vocational guidelines for disability, id. at 13. The
court has reviewed the entire record and Mabrey’s contentions and finds no error.
Accordingly, for the reasons discussed below, the ALJ’s decision is supported by
substantial evidence because it gave sufficient weight to Mabrey’s treating
chiropractor, properly applied the pain standard, and correctly utilized the
Weight Accorded Dr. Myers’ Physical Capacities Evaluation
To support her disability claim, Mabrey primarily relies on the February 7,
2008, Physical Capacities Evaluation (“PCE”) submitted by her “long-term
treating source,” Dr. Mark Myers, D.C. Doc. 8, at 6 (citing R. 339-44). In the
Page 8 of 19
PCE, Dr. Myers, a chiropractor, provided that Mabrey could only lift and/or carry
5 pounds occasionally or less, could sit for 2 hours during an 8-hour work day, and
could stand for only 3 hours during an 8-hour work day. (R. 339). Moreover, Dr.
Myers maintained that Mabrey could “never” perform the following: pushing and
pulling movements, climbing (stairs or ladders) and balancing, gross manipulation
(grasping, twisting, and handling), bending, stooping (bending downward and
forward from the waist), reaching (including overhead), work around hazardous
machinery, work around dust, allergens, fumes, etc. Id. Dr. Myers also provided
that Mabrey could “occasionally” perform fine manipulation (finger dexterity) and
could “frequently” operate motor vehicles. Id. Dr. Myers concluded that “[p]ain
is present to such an extent as to be distracting to adequate performance of daily
activities.” (R. 340). Furthermore, Dr. Myers stated that physical activity
“[g]reatly increased pain and to such a degree as to cause distraction from tasks or
total abandonment of tasks.” Id. Mabrey also submits an October 1, 2007 report
from Dr. Myers where he concluded that “[i]n my opinion, the patients’[sic]
condition is of a permanent nature. She has limited capacity for the following:
bending (very light weights, only); sitting (no longer than 30 minutes,
consecutively); prolonged standing and walking; reading/desk work (increases
neck/upper back pain); mental concentration (affected by pain).” (R. 258-59).
Page 9 of 19
However, the ALJ “afforded Dr. Myer’s[sic] opinions little to no weight as
they are inconsistent with the medical evidence of record as a whole as well as his
own treatment records.” (R. 23). Mabrey contends that this finding constitutes
error because “the opinion of a treating physician is to be given substantial weight
in determining disability.” Doc. 8, at 10 (citing Hillsman v. Bowen, 804 F.2d
1179, 1181 (11th Cir. 1986); Parker v. Bowen, 793 F.2d 1177, 1180 (11th Cir.
1986) (“[I]t is not only legally relevant but unquestionably logical that the
opinions, diagnosis and medical evidence of a treating physician whose familiarity
with the patient’s injuries, course of treatment, and responses over considerable
length of time, should be given considerable weight.”)). While a treating
physician’s medical opinions are certainly afford great deference, Mabrey
overlooks that the federal regulations establish that Dr. Myers is not a treating
physician. Generally, “[m]edical opinions are statements from physicians and
psychologists or other acceptable medical sources that reflect judgments about the
nature and severity of your impairments,” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1513(a)(2) (emphasis
added), and in weighing medical opinions, more weight is given “to opinions from
 treating sources.” See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(c)(2). However, acceptable
“medical sources” are defined as—for purposes here—“licensed physicians
(medical or osteopathic doctors).” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1513(a)(1). Conversely,
Page 10 of 19
“chiropractors” are listed as “other sources.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1513(d)(1). Thus,
as a chiropractor is not considered an acceptable medical source, the federal
regulations and relevant case law impose no requirement that the ALJ give Dr.
Myers’ opinion substantial weight. See also Crawford v. Comm’n of Social
Security, 363 F.3d 1155, 1160 (11th Cir. 2004) (noting that the federal regulations
exclude chiropractors from the list of “‘acceptable medical sources’ whose
opinions may be considered in determining the existence of an impairment”);
Social Security Ruling, SSR 06-03p, 2006 WL 2329939, at *2 (Aug. 9, 2006)
(“[O]nly ‘acceptable medical sources’ can be considered treating sources, as
defined in 20 CFR 404.1502 and 416.902, whose medical opinions may be entitled
to controlling weight. See 20 CFR 404.1527(d) and 416.927(d).”). Therefore, the
ALJ committed no error when he “afforded Dr. Myer’s[sic] opinions little to no
weight . . . .” (R. 23).
Morever, even if the court considers Dr. Myers an “acceptable medical
source,” the ALJ’s finding that Myers’ conclusions are inconsistent with the
medical record as a whole is supported by substantial evidence. First, the ALJ
cites medical records from Mabrey’s rheumatologist Dr. C. Douglas Bell—who
Mabrey visited regularly in 2008 and 2009. (R. 344-49, 411-12). Dr. Bell’s July
24, 2008 treatment notes provide that Mabrey “is in no acute distress.” (R. 349).
Page 11 of 19
Similarly, Dr. Bell’s September 12, 2008 treatment notes state that Mabrey “is in
no acute distress. There is tenderness over the neck, shoulders, and lateral hips.”
(R. 348). Dr. Bell’s November 14, 2008 notes state “Ms. Maybrey[sic] reports
that she is some better. She sleeps better and she is exercising regularly. She
indicates she had access to the YMCA exercise program sheets and programs. She
uses a ball regularly.” (R. 347). The November 2008 treatment notes also provide
that certain prescription pain medications have “helped significantly for pain and
she takes it only periodically.” Id. On February 13, 2009, Dr. Bell notes that
Mabrey complained of “neck, shoulder, and lower back, as well as left hip
discomfort. With medications, she sleeps fairly well and is doing some exercises .
. . . There is good range of motion in the shoulders. The left scapula is tender with
palpation. The lower back on the left side near the SI joint is tender. She has
good range of motion of the left hip and some findings to suggest trochanteric
bursitis.” (R. 412). Finally, on May 11, 2009, Mabrey’s treatment notes reveal
“neck and shoulder discomfort,” but again, “no acute distress.” (R. 411). As is
evident, Dr. Bell’s treatment notes support the ALJ’s finding.
The ALJ also relied on the November 3, 2007 medical report by Dr. Ryan
C. Aaron, M.D. (R. 18-19, 295-98). In his report, Dr. Aaron provided that
Mabrey suffers from chronic back and neck pain that has progressively worsened
Page 12 of 19
over the last 7-10 years, and to combat this pain, she received epidural blocks in
her neck, triggerpoint injections in the cervical paraspinal muscles, and lumbar
epidural blocks. (R. 295-96). However, he also stated that Mabrey “has recently
started taking Darvocet N-100, which takes her pain from 7/10 to 2/10.” Id. As it
relates to general appearance and observations, Dr. Aaron found that Mabrey “was
able to walk into the examination room without difficulty. She does not appear to
be in any acute distress . . . . She is able to take off and put on her socks and shoes.
She is able to get [on] and off the examination table without assistance.” (R. 296).
Moreover, Dr. Aaron noted that “Romberg was absent. Gait is normal.” (R. 297).
For range of motion in the spine, Dr. Aaron reported that Mabrey “is able to
perform full range of motion in the cervical region, but she does complain of
pain,” id., and for range of motion in the shoulder joints, “forward flexation 0-180
degrees, extension 0-50 degrees, abduction 0-180 degrees, adduction 0-50
degrees, internal rotation 0-90 degrees, external rotation 0-90 degrees bilaterally,”
(R. 298). Dr. Aaron found Mabrey tender to certain palpations, but that she
retained “5/5 muscle strength in all muscle groups.” Id. And finally, the court
agrees with the ALJ that “[t]he records [of Dr. Aaron] do not describe any
intractable pain.” (R. 22).
Furthermore, as it relates to discrediting the opinion evidence of Dr. Myers
Page 13 of 19
for Mabrey’s RFC, the ALJ concluded that “the opinion of the State Disability
Determination Service assessment of residual functional capacity  is consistent
with the evidence of record as a whole.” (R. 23). Mabrey, on the other hand,
argues that the “ALJ determines an RFC by placing the greatest weight on the
opinion of a state agency worker, an individual who never even saw Plaintiff,
much less examined her. Perhaps most disconcerting, this individual is not a
doctor, but rather a lay worker for the state agency.” Doc. 8, at 11 (citations
omitted). However, Mabrey’s contention is misplaced because the ALJ accepted
the agency’s RFC after finding it supported by the objective medical record. In
other words, the ALJ concluded that the objective medical evidence supports the
opinion evidence of the state agency rather than the opinion evidence of Dr.
Myers. See Crawford, 363 F.3d at 1160 (accepting ALJ’s decision to discount a
chiropractor’s opinion because it was unsupported by the medical evidence).
Based on Dr. Bell and Dr. Aaron’s treatment notes, substantial evidence justifies
the ALJ’s conclusion.
Additionally, the ALJ gave Dr. Myers’ PCE “little to no weight” because
the opinions in this evaluation were inconsistent with Dr. Myers’ own treatment
notes. (R. 23). Indeed, while Dr. Myers concluded in the PCE that Mabrey’s pain
distracted from tasks or could even cause abandonment of tasks, Dr. Myers’
Page 14 of 19
“objective” treatment notes only describe Mabrey as suffering from mild to
moderate pain levels. (R. 23, 340, 357-71, 427-40). Given that Dr. Myers is not
an acceptable medical source and taking the objective medical evidence as a
whole, the inconsistencies between Dr. Myers’ conclusory opinions and treatment
notes provide additional support to the ALJ’s conclusions. See Crawford, 363
F.3d at 1160 (discrediting chiropractor’s finding of a disability based, in part, on
inconsistent treatment notes).
Application of Pain Standard
Mabrey also contends that the ALJ improperly applied the Hand pain
standard. In support, Mabrey asserts: “not only has Plaintiff complained of
chronic and severe pain, but Plaintiff’s treating physician has noted an underlying
medical condition, and has also noted the severity of Plaintiff’s condition, thus
presenting evidence that Plaintiff’s medical condition is of such a severity that it
can reasonably be expected to cause the alleged pain.” Doc. 8, at 9. The court
first reiterates the impropriety of relying on Dr. Myers as a “treating physician,”
see supra; Crawford, 363 F.3d at 1160, and, accordingly, finds that the ALJ
properly refused to give substantial weight to the “medical evidence” espoused by
Moreover, in considering the objective medical evidence provided by
Page 15 of 19
acceptable medical sources, the ALJ found that “the claimant’s statements
concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of these symptoms are
not credible to the extent they are inconsistent with the above residual functional
capacity assessment.” (R. 22). There is substantial evidence to support the ALJ’s
conclusion. Namely, Mabrey’s rheumatologist, Dr. Bell, provided that Mabrey
revealed no acute distress in July or September 2008, (R. 348-49); she exercised
regularly and her pain medications helped significantly in November 2008, (R.
347); she had good range of shoulder motion and exercised in February 2009, (R.
412); and she had neck and shoulder discomfort in May 2009, but again, no acute
distress, (R. 411). Similarly, Dr. Aaron found Mabrey in no acute distress, with
5/5 muscle strength in all muscle groups, and with full range of motion in the
spine despite some complaints of pain. (R. 295-98). Dr. Aaron’s treatment notes
also provide a negative Romberg test and normal gait, and that Darvocet N-100
reduced Mabrey’s pain to 2/10. (R. 295, 297). Thus, the objective medical
evidence supports the ALJ’s decision to discredit Mabrey’s subjective allegations
of disabling pain. As such, the ALJ properly applied the Eleventh Circuit’s pain
Medical Vocational Guidelines
Finally, Mabrey contends that the ALJ erred by failing to find her disabled
Page 16 of 19
under the Medical Vocational Guidelines—§§ 202.06 or 201.06 (GRID Tables 1
and 2). Doc. 8, at 13. More specifically,
[Mabrey] was fifty seven years of age at the time of the hearing and
has a high school education. Her past relevant work as described by
the vocation expert consisted of unit clerk, performed at the light to
medium exertional levels and semi skilled in nature. In addition, the
VE testified that there were no transferrable skills from the past work.
Plaintiff submits that under the ALJ’s RFC findings for the ability to
perform no more than light work, she should have met the GRID Rule
at age fifty five, and thus should have been found disabled from that
Id. (citations omitted). The court disagrees. GRID Tables 1 and 2 are applicable
for disability determinations when a claimant’s RFC is limited to precisely
“sedentary” (Table 1) or “light” (Table 2) work. See 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P,
App. 2 § 200.00(a) (“Where the findings of fact made with respect to a particular
individual’s vocational factors and residual functional capacity coincide with all of
the criteria of a particular rule, the rule directs a conclusion as to whether the
individual is or is not disabled . . . . Where any one of the findings of fact does not
coincide with the corresponding criterion of a rule, the rule does not apply in that
particular case and, accordingly, does not direct a conclusion of disabled or not
disabled.”). See also 20 C.F.R. § 404.1569. As such, the federal regulations
define “sedentary work” as work that “involves lifting no more than 10 pounds at
a time and occasionally lifting or carrying articles like docket files, ledgers, and
Page 17 of 19
small tools. Although a sedentary job is defined as one which involves sitting, a
certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary in carrying out job
duties. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required occasionally and
other sedentary criteria are met.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a). The federal
regulations define “light work” as work that “involves lifting no more than 20
pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 10
pounds. Even though the weight lifted may be very little, a job is in this category
when it requires a good deal of walking or standing, or when it involves sitting
most of the time with some pushing and pulling of arm or leg controls.” 20 C.F.R.
Here, however, the ALJ determined that Mabrey could perform “light
work,” but reduced Mabrey’s RFC “because she experiences mild to moderate
pain.” (R. 21). See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1569a (“Your impairment(s) and related
symptoms, such as pain, may cause limitations of function or restrictions which
limit your ability to meet certain demands of jobs.”). Pain limitations are
considered “nonexertional” limitations, Phillips v. Barnhart, 357 F.3d 1232, 1242
n.11 (11th Cir. 2004), and “[i]f nonexertional impairments exist, the ALJ may use
the grids as a framework to evaluate vocational factors but also must introduce
independent evidence, preferably through a vocational expert’s testimony, of the
Page 18 of 19
existence of jobs in the national economy that the claimant can perform.” Wolfe v.
Chater, 86 F.3d 1072, 1077-78 (11th Cir. 1996) (emphasis added). Therefore, the
ALJ properly utilized a vocational expert to support his finding that Mabrey “is
capable of performing past relevant work as a unit clerk,” (R. 23, 48-52), rather
than relying solely on the GRID tables.
Based on the foregoing, the court concludes that the ALJ’s determination
that Mabrey is not disabled is supported by substantial evidence, and that the ALJ
applied proper legal standards in reaching this determination. The final decision
of the Commissioner is, therefore, AFFIRMED. A separate order in accordance
with this memorandum of decision will be entered.
Done the 9th day of May, 2012.
ABDUL K. KALLON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Page 19 of 19
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?