Herron v. Social Security Administration, Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn on 7/20/15. (MRR )
2015 Jul-20 AM 09:48
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
SUSAN L. WESSLER-HERRON,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security,
Case No. 6:14-CV-00840-SLB
Plaintiff Susan L. Wessler-Herron brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g),
seeking judicial review of the Commissioner of Social Security’s final decision denying her
application for supplemental security income [“SSI”]. After review of the record, the parties’
submissions, and the relevant law, the court is of the opinion that the Commissioner’s
decision is due to be affirmed.
I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff filed an application for SSI on October 12, 2010 and later amended her
alleged onset date to October 1, 2010. (R. 35, 107.)1 Plaintiff’s application was denied by
the Social Security Administration [“SSA”] on March 24, 2011. (R. 64.) Thereafter, plaintiff
requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge [“ALJ”], which was held on June
14, 2012. (R. 31.) After the hearing, the ALJ found that plaintiff was capable of making a
Reference to a document number, (“Doc. __”), refers to the number assigned to
each document as it is filed in the court’s record. References to page numbers in the
Commissioner’s record are set forth as (“R.__”).
vocational adjustment to other occupations, such as bench/assembler, sorter, and bakery line
attendant. (R. 20.) In light of these findings, the ALJ denied plaintiff’s request for SSI on
September 18, 2012. (Id.)
On September 26, 2012, plaintiff petitioned the Appeals Council to review the ALJ’s
decision, (R. 5), and on March 21, 2014, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff’s request for
review, thereby rendering the ALJ’s decision the final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security, (R. 1). Following denial of review by the Appeals Council, plaintiff filed
an appeal in this court on May 5, 2014. (Doc. 1.)
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
In reviewing claims brought under the Social Security Act, this court “is limited to an
inquiry into whether there is substantial evidence to support the findings of the
Commissioner, and whether the correct legal standards were applied.” Wilson v. Barnhart,
284 F.3d 1219, 1221 (11th Cir. 2002); see also Lamb v. Bowen, 847 F.2d 698, 701 (11th Cir.
1988). The court gives deference to factual findings and reviews questions of law de novo.
Cornelius v. Sullivan, 936 F.2d 1143, 1145 (11th Cir. 1991). The court “may not decide the
facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or substitute [its] judgment for that of the [Commissioner];
rather the court must scrutinize the record as a whole to determine if the decision reached is
reasonable and supported by substantial evidence.” Martin v. Sullivan, 894 F.2d 1520, 1529
(11th Cir. 1990) (quoting Bloodsworth v. Heckler, 703 F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983))
(internal quotations and other citation omitted). “The Commissioner’s factual findings are
conclusive if supported by substantial evidence.” Wilson, 284 F.3d at 1221 (citing Martin,
894 F.2d at 1529; Allen v. Bowen, 816 F.2d 600, 602 (11th Cir. 1987)). “Substantial evidence
is more than a scintilla and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Winschel v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 631 F.3d 1176, 1178
(11th Cir. 2011) (internal quotations and citations omitted).
Conclusions of law made by the Commissioner are reviewed de novo. Cornelius, 936
F.2d at 1145. “[N]o . . . presumption of validity attaches to the [Commissioner’s] conclusions
of law.” Wiggins v. Schweiker, 679 F.2d 1387, 1389 (11th Cir. 1982).
A. THE FIVE-STEP EVALUATION
The regulations require the Commissioner to follow a five-step sequential evaluation
to determine whether a claimant is eligible for supplemental security income. See 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.920(a)(1)-(2); see also Bowen v. City of New York, 476 U.S. 467, 470 (1986). “The
term ‘disability’ means – (A) [the] inability to 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 . . . .” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A); see also 42 U.S.C. § 416(i)(1). The
specific steps in the evaluation process are as follows:
1. Substantial Gainful Employment
First, the Commissioner must determine whether the claimant is engaged in
“substantial gainful activity.” Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 137 (1987). The regulations
define “substantial gainful activity” as “work activity that is both substantial and gainful.”2
20 C.F.R. § 416.972. If the claimant is working and that work is substantial gainful activity,
the Commissioner will find that the claimant is not disabled, regardless of the claimant’s
medical condition or her age, education, and work experience. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(b).
“Under the first step, the claimant has the burden to show that she is not currently engaged
The regulation provides:
(a) Substantial work activity. Substantial work activity is
work activity that involves doing significant physical or
mental activities. Your work may be substantial even if it is
done on a part-time basis or if you do less, get paid less, or
have less responsibility than when you worked before.
(b) Gainful work activity. Gainful work activity is work
activity that you do for pay or profit. Work activity is gainful
if it is the kind of work usually done for pay or profit,
whether or not a profit is realized.
(c) Some other activities. Generally, we do not consider
activities like taking care of yourself, household tasks,
hobbies, therapy, school attendance, club activities, or social
programs to be substantial gainful activity.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1572; 20 C.F.R. § 416.972.
in substantial gainful activity.” Reynolds-Buckley v. Commissioner of Social Sec., 457 F.
App’x 862, 863 (11th Cir. 2012).3
The ALJ determined that plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since
her alleged onset date of October 1, 2010. (R. 11.)
2. Severe Impairments
If the claimant is not engaged in substantial gainful activity, the Commissioner must
next determine whether the claimant suffers from a severe impairment or combination of
impairments that significantly limits the claimant’s physical or mental ability to do basic
work activities. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a)(4)(ii), (c). “[A] ‘physical or mental impairment’ is
an impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities
which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic
techniques.” 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(D). The regulations provide: “[I]f you do not have any
impairment or combination of impairments which significantly limits your physical or mental
ability to do basic work activities, we will find that you do not have a severe impairment and
are, therefore, not disabled. We will not consider your age, education, and work experience.”
20 C.F.R. § 416.920(c). “An impairment can be considered as not severe only if it is a slight
abnormality which has such a minimal effect on the individual that it would not be expected
to interfere with the individual’s ability to work, irrespective of age, education, or work
Eleventh Circuit Rule 36-2 provides, in pertinent part, “An opinion shall be
unpublished unless a majority of the panel decides to publish it. Unpublished opinions
are not considered binding precedent, but they may be cited as persuasive authority.”
11th Cir. R. 36-2 (emphasis added).
experience.” Brady v. Heckler, 724 F.2d 914, 920 (11th Cir. 1984); see also 20 C.F.R. §
416.921(a). A claimant may be found disabled based on a combination of impairments even
though none of the individual impairments alone are disabling. Walker v. Brown, 826 F.2d
996, 1001 (11th Cir. 1985); see also 20 C.F.R. § 416.923. A claimant has the burden to show
that she has a severe impairment or combination of impairments. Reynolds-Buckley, 457 F.
App’x at 863.
The ALJ found that plaintiff had severe impairments of “degenerative disc disease,
polyarthralgia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, and benzodiazepine and
opiate dependence.” (R. 11.)
3. The Listings
If the claimant has a severe impairment, the Commissioner must then determine
whether the claimant’s impairment meets the durational requirement and whether it is
equivalent to any one of the listed impairments, which are impairments that are so severe as
to prevent an individual with the described impairment from performing substantial gainful
activity. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a)(4)(iii), (d)-(e); see 20 C.F.R. pt. 404, Subpart P, Appendix
1 [The Listings]. If the claimant’s impairment meets or equals a Listing, the Commissioner
must find the claimant disabled, regardless of her age, education, and work experience. 20
C.F.R. § 416.920(d). The claimant has the burden of proving that her impairment meets or
equals the criteria contained in one of the Listings. Reynolds-Buckley, 457 F. App’x at 863.
The ALJ found that plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled a Listing. (R. 12.)
4. Residual Functional Capacity and Past Relevant Work
If the impairment does not meet or equal the criteria of a Listing, the claimant must
prove that her impairment prevents her from performing her past relevant work. See 20 C.F.
R. § 416.920(a)(4)(iv), (f). At step four, the Commissioner “will first compare [her]
assessment of [the claimant’s] residual functional capacity [“RFC”] with the physical and
mental demands of [the claimant’s] past relevant work. 20 C.F.R. § 416.960(b). “Past
relevant work is work that [the claimant has] done within the past 15 years, that was
substantial gainful activity, and that lasted long enough for [her] to learn to do it. 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.960(b)(1). If the claimant is capable of performing her past relevant work, the
Commissioner will find she is not disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(e). The claimant bears the
burden of establishing that the impairment prevents her from performing past work.
Reynolds-Buckley, 457 F. App’x at 863.
The ALJ found that plaintiff has a high school education and was 50 years old, which
is defined as an individual closely approaching advanced age, on the alleged onset date. (R.
19.) The ALJ made the following findings regarding plaintiff’s RFC:
[T]he claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work . . .
except the claimant would need a sit/stand option. The claimant experiences
moderate limitations from her mental impairment, but can understand, and
remember simple instructions but not detailed instructions. The claimant can
carry out simple instructions and can maintain attention for routine or familiar
tasks for extended periods. The claimant can tolerate ordinary work stress, but
should avoid quick decision-making, rapid changes and multiple demands.
The claimant would benefit from regular rest breaks and a slower pace, but is
able to maintain a work pace consistent with the mental demands of
competitive level work. Feedback should be supportive. The claimant can
tolerate casual non-intense interaction with co-workers and supervisors, and
can adapt to infrequent well-explained changes regarding the work place and
work functions. The claimant can set simple short-term work goals that are
realistic, but may need assistance with those that are more complex or longterm. The claimant is likely to miss one to two days of work a month due to
mental signs and symptoms.
(R. 14.) The ALJ concluded that plaintiff is unable to perform any of her past relevant work.
5. Other Work in the National Economy
If the claimant establishes that she is unable to perform her past relevant work, the
Commissioner must show that the claimant – in light of her RFC, age, education, and work
experience – is capable of performing other work that exists in substantial numbers in the
national economy. Reynolds-Buckley, 457 F. App’x at 863; see also 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.920(c)(1). The regulations provide:
If we find that your residual functional capacity is not enough to enable you to
do any of your past relevant work, we will use the same residual functional
capacity assessment we used to decide if you could do your past relevant work
when we decide if you can adjust to any other work. We will look at your
ability to adjust to other work by considering your residual functional capacity
and your vocational factors of age, education, and work experience. Any other
work (jobs) that you can adjust to must exist in significant numbers in the
national economy (either in the region where you live or in several regions in
20 C.F.R. § 416.960(c)(1).
The ALJ consulted a Vocational Expert [“VE”] to determine whether jobs exist in the
national economy that plaintiff could perform, considering her RFC, age, education, and
work experience. The VE testified that an individual with plaintiff’s limitations and
vocational factors could perform the jobs of bench/assembler, sorter, and bakery line
attendant, which are jobs that exist in significant numbers in Alabama and in the national
economy. (R. 20, 48.) Because the ALJ found that jobs consistent with plaintiff’s RFC and
vocational factors exist in significant numbers, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not disabled.
B. MS. WESSLER-HERRON’S ISSUES ON APPEAL
Plaintiff argues that (1) the ALJ failed to assign proper weight to the medical opinion
of Dr. Scottie Twilley and failed to consider the medical evidence of record; (2) the ALJ
improperly discredited plaintiff’s pain testimony; and (3) the ALJ failed to address the
combined effects of plaintiff’s impairments. (Doc. 11 at 22.) Having reviewed the entire
record before the ALJ, as well as the parties’ briefs, the court finds that the Commissioner’s
decision is due to be affirmed.
1. MEDICAL EVIDENCE AND EXPERT MEDICAL OPINION
Plaintiff contends that the ALJ improperly discounted the medical opinion of Dr.
Scottie Twilley, plaintiff’s treating physician, and that the objective medical evidence of
record confirms that plaintiff is disabled. (Doc. 11 at 11, 18.) The regulations provide
specific criteria for evaluating medical opinions from acceptable medical sources: (1)
examining relationship; (2) treatment relationship; (3) supportability; (4) consistency; (5)
specialization; and (6) “other factors.”4 See C.F. R. § 404.1527(c). “The law is clear that,
although the opinion of an examining physician is generally entitled to more weight than the
opinion of a non-examining physician, the ALJ is free to reject the opinion of any physician
when the evidence supports a contrary conclusion.” Oldham v. Schweiker, 660 F.2d 1078,
1084 (5th Cir. Unit B Nov. 1981) (citing 20 C.F.R. § 404.1526).
“[T]he ALJ must state with particularity the weight given to different medical
opinions and the reasons therefor.” Winschel v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 631 F.3d 1176, 1179
(11th Cir. 2011) (citing Sharfarz v. Bowen, 825 F.2d 278, 279 (11th Cir.1987) (per curiam)).
“An acceptable medical opinion as to disability must contain more than a mere conclusory
With regard to “other factors,” the regulation states:
When we consider how much weight to give to a medical
opinion, we will also consider any factors you or others bring
to our attention, or of which we are aware, which tend to
support or contradict the opinion. For example, the amount
of understanding of our disability programs and their
evidentiary requirements that an acceptable medical source
has, regardless of the source of that understanding, and the
extent to which an acceptable medical source is familiar with
the other information in your case record are relevant factors
that we will consider in deciding the weight to give to a
20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(c)(6).
statement that the claimant is disabled. It must be supported by clinical or laboratory
findings.” Oldham, 660 F.2d at 1084. Accordingly, with good cause, the ALJ may disregard
a treating physician’s opinion “but [he] ‘must clearly articulate [the] reasons for doing so,’”
because “[i]n the absence of such a statement, it is impossible for a reviewing court to
determine whether the ultimate decision on the merits of the claim is rational and supported
by substantial evidence.” Id. (quoting Cowart v. Schweiker, 662 F.2d 731, 735 (11th
Plaintiff contends that the ALJ substituted his opinion for that of Dr. Twilley by
rejecting Dr. Twilley’s testimony that plaintiff “may have early signs of ankylosing
spondylitis.” (R. 16; see R. 329.) Dr. Twilley testified that plaintiff had “early findings that
would warrant us to think in her thoracic and lumbar regions that she perhaps does have
ankylosing spondylitis.” (R. 329.) Dr. Twilley also testified that AS is a “100% disabling
illness” and “one of the worst conditions that I have seen in my practice for pain.” (R. 333.)
The ALJ considered Dr. Twilley testimony that plaintiff may be developing ankylosing
spondylitis (“AS”),5 but stated that the evidence does not support Dr. Twilley’s statement.
(R. 16.) The ALJ questioned Dr. Twilley’s diagnosis because, while the records support
plaintiff’s diagnosis for degenerative disc disease in the cervical and lumbar spine, “Dr.
As defined in the Commissioner’s brief, AS is “a long-term type of arthritis that
most commonly causes inflammation in the bones and joints at the base of the spine
where it connects with the pelvis; over time, the affected spinal bones join together.”
(Doc. 13 at 4 (citing Ankylosing Spondylitis, PUBMED HEALTH,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024407/ (last visited July 16, 2015)).
Twilley’s notes do not appear to show a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis, or even a
reference to [AS].” (Id.) Plaintiff tested positive for HLA-B27 in June 2010, (R. 271), and
Dr. Twilley testified that patients with AS frequently test positive HLA-B27, (R. 329).6
However, Dr. Twilley did not document in medical records how plaintiff’s blood test results
were consistent with AS or note the condition anywhere in plaintiff’s treatment records. (R.
16.) Additionally, the available imaging records show mild degenerative changes in
plaintiff’s spine but do not show vertebral fusion apart from a surgical fusion that took place
in 2001. (R. 195, 289, 263, 275.) The ALJ properly stated his reasons for discounting Dr.
Twilley’s testimony regarding plaintiff’s alleged impairment of AS.
Plaintiff also contends “the ALJ dismissed the diagnoses and opinions of Dr. Twilley
without explaining his justification in doing so.” (Doc. 11 at 20.) However, the ALJ did not
completely reject Dr. Twilley’s diagnoses and opinions. The ALJ found that Dr. Twilley’s
notes “confirm objective findings of pain in the neck, back, and extremities with range of
motion, as well as a diagnosis of chronic musculoskeletal pain and degenerative disc
disease.” (R. 16.) To the extent the ALJ did not accept Dr. Twilley’s testimony, he provided
an adequate justification. For example, Dr. Twilley’s notes repeatedly report that plaintiff’s
pain was controlled with medication, thereby providing substantial evidence upon which the
ALJ could base his finding that plaintiff’s pain was not as limiting as alleged. (See R. 16,
As the Commissioner notes, the link between AS patients frequently testing
positive for HLA-B27 does not translate into HLA-B27 patients frequently developing
AS. (Doc. 13 at 4-5 n.5.)
353, 357, 361, 365, 369, 373, 377, 381, 389.) The ALJ did not err in finding that Dr.
Twilley’s conclusory opinions regarding the extent of plaintiff’s restrictions and limitations
are not supported by his treatment notes or other medical records.
Plaintiff next argues that the ALJ ignored the objective medical evidence, including
x-rays, blood tests, and physical exams showing that plaintiff suffers from a disability. (Doc.
11 at 11-12.) The ALJ considered the x-ray records of Dr. Salah Uddin, a neurologist who
evaluated plaintiff for chronic back pain. (R. 16.) After reviewing plaintiff’s x-rays during
a follow-up visit in June 2010, Dr. Uddin noted that plaintiff’s “back pain is also a lot better”
and that plaintiff was taking medication “three times a day with good control of her low back
pain.” (R. 275.) The ALJ considered Dr. Uddin’s findings, stating that the “x-ray records
from Dr. Uddin show only mild degenerative disc disease at L4-5 and L5-S1 with mild facet
degenerative joint disease also observed at these levels with no mention of Ankylosing
Spondylitis, or vertebrae fusion, which is usually a symptom of this impairment.” (R. at 16.)
Additionally, contrary to plaintiff’s argument that the ALJ did not consider her 2001 spinal
surgery, (see Doc. 11 at 14), the ALJ stated that plaintiff’s medical history includes “an
anterior cervical fusion with bone graft and plating in January 2001. Records show that the
claimant’s surgery was successful[,] and she fully recovered despite failure to complete
physical therapy.” (R. 15.) The court finds that the ALJ properly considered the objective
medical evidence of record.
2. THE ALJ’S CREDIBILITY DETERMINATION
Plaintiff contends that the ALJ erred in discrediting her pain testimony. (Doc. 11 at
14.) Specifically, plaintiff challenges the ALJ’s finding that her “allegations of severe pain
and functional limitations related to back and neck pain [are] not fully supported by the
evidence.” (Id. (quoting R. 15).) Social Security Ruling 96-7p explains the two step process
set out in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1529 and § 416.929 that the ALJ must follow:7 “First, the
adjudicator must consider whether there is an underlying medically determinable physical
or mental impairment—i.e., an impairment(s) that can be shown by medically acceptable
clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques—that could reasonably be expected to produce
the individual’s pain or other symptoms.” This determination does not consider the
“intensity, persistence, or functionally limiting effects of the individual’s symptoms.” SSR
96-7p. If the ALJ finds that the plaintiff’s case survives the first step, then
the adjudicator must evaluate the intensity, persistence, and
limiting effects of the individual’s symptoms to determine the
extent to which the symptoms limit the individual’s ability to do
basic work activities. For this purpose, whenever the
individual’s statements about the intensity, persistence, or
Apparently the Eleventh Circuit considers the standard set out in the regulations
and the standard in Holt v. Sullivan, 921 F.2d 1221, 1223 (11th Cir.1991), as one and the
same. Wilson v. Barnhart, 284 F.3d 1219, 1226 (11th Cir. 2002) (“Furthermore, the ALJ
cites to 20 C.F.R.§ 404.1529, which contains the same language [as Holt] regarding the
subjective pain testimony that this Court interpreted when initially establishing its
three-part pain standard. In citing to § 404.1529 and based on the findings and discussion,
it is clear that the ALJ applied this Circuit's pain standard [from Holt].”). Because SSR
96-7p offers an in-depth explanation of the regulations and is more recent than Holt, the
court looks to it for guidance.
functionally limiting effects of pain or other symptoms are not
substantiated by objective medical evidence, the adjudicator
must make a finding on the credibility of the individual’s
statements based on a consideration of the entire case record.
The ALJ found that, under step one, “the claimant’s medically determinable
impairments could reasonably be expected to cause the alleged symptoms,” but under step
two, “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. 15.) In reaching this finding, the ALJ relied in part on
the inconsistencies between plaintiff’s testimony at the hearing and her statements in the
Function Report. (R. 17.) According to plaintiff’s Function Report completed in October
2010, she fed her daughter’s dogs, helped care for her infant granddaughter every day, and
drove to the grocery store once a week. (R. 141-144.) However, during the ALJ hearing,
plaintiff testified that she does not provide daycare for her grandchild or do her own grocery
shopping. (R. 39-40.)
The ALJ also considered plaintiff’s testimony during the ALJ hearing that she had
undergone all recommended treatments from her doctors. (R. 37.) The ALJ asked plaintiff
if any doctors had recommended treatment that plaintiff had not received, and she responded
that none had. (Id.) However, the record does not show that plaintiff ever received trigger
point injections or attended disc decompression therapy ordered by her neurologist, Dr.
Uddin, in June 2010. (See R. 275.) Furthermore, the ALJ noted that, despite plaintiff’s
testimony that she experiences “constant pain,” (R. 36), the record contains multiple reports
stating that medication was controlling plaintiff’s pain. (R. 16, 353, 357, 361, 365, 369, 373,
377, 381, 389.) The ALJ did not err in finding that plaintiff’s subjective reports of her
limitations were inconsistent with medical evidence and not supported by the record as a
whole. (R. 18.)
3. COMBINATION OF IMPAIRMENTS
Lastly, plaintiff contends that the ALJ failed to address the combination of her mental
and physical impairments. (Doc. 11 at 18, 22.) The ALJ found plaintiff had severe
impairments of degenerative disc disease, polyarthralgia, chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease, depression, and benzodiazepine and opiate dependence. (R. 11.) The ALJ
determined that “the claimant’s mental impairments impose more than a mild degree of
limitation in at least one of the first three broad areas of functioning,” but found that
plaintiff’s impairments, considered singly and in combination, did not meet or medically
equal the severity of the listings in 20 C.F.R. pt. 404, Subpart P Appendix 1. (R. 11-12.) The
ALJ’s determination constitutes evidence that he considered the combined effects of
plaintiff’s impairments. See Jones v. Dept. of Health and Human Servs., 941 F.2d 1529,
1533 (11th Cir. 1991) (finding that the ALJ considered the combined effects of the
claimant’s impairments where the ALJ determined that the plaintiff did not have “an
impairment or combination of impairments listed in, or medically equal to one listed in
Appendix 1, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4") (emphasis in original).
The ALJ’s RFC assessment also shows that he considered the combined effects of
plaintiff’s impairments because the RFC findings include provisions accommodating
plaintiff’s back pain and depression. For example, the RFC assessment provides for light
work with a sit/stand option; avoidance of quick decision-making, rapid changes, and
multiple demands; regular breaks and a slower pace; supportive feedback; and assistance
with forming more complex or long-term work goals. (R. 14, 18.) The court finds that the
ALJ assessed plaintiff’s impairments, both singly and in combination.
For the reasons set forth above, the decision of the Commissioner is due to be
affirmed. An Order affirming the decision of the Commissioner will be entered
contemporaneously with this Memorandum Opinion.
DONE this 20th day of July, 2015.
SHARON LOVELACE BLACKBURN
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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