Hawkins v. Social Security Administration
ORDER adopting 11 Proposed Findings and Recommended Disposition as the findings and disposition of this Court. Christina Hawkins's request for reliefis denied, and the decision of the Commissioner is affirmed. Signed by Judge J. Leon Holmes on 8/26/2014. (ks)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CHRISTINA J. HAWKINS
No. 4:13CV00712 JLH-JTR
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner,
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
The Court has received and reviewed the proposed findings and recommended disposition
submitted by United States Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray, as well as the objections submitted by
Christina Hawkins. After a de novo review of the record, the Court adopts the proposed findings and
recommended disposition as the findings and disposition of the Court. Hawkins objects to Judge
Ray’s dismissal of her therapist’s letter because the therapist is not considered a source under 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1513 and 416.913. Hawkins contends that her therapist is a “other source” under 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1513(d)(1) and 416.913(d)(1). See Shontos v. Barnhart, 328 F.3d 418, 426 (8th Cir.
2003). A therapist may be an other source, as Hawkins argues, but the letter from the therapist is a
conclusory letter that states no basis for the opinions expressed therein, and, as Judge Ray noted, the
therapist had not treated Hawkins recently. The Administrative Law Judge correctly noted that the
therapist was a source whose opinions could be considered on such issues as the severity of the
impairments and functional effects, and he nevertheless discounted her opinions as conclusory.
Assuming, without deciding, that Judge Ray erred by not considering the therapist as an other source,
that error does not change the outcome. Hawkins’s other objections point to evidence that supports
her contention that she is disabled. Still, based on the evidence in the record as a whole, substantial
evidence supports the decision of the ALJ, and the ALJ made no legal error. Therefore, the Court
adopts the recommended disposition submitted by Judge Ray. Christina Hawkins’s request for relief
is denied, and the decision of the Commissioner is affirmed.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 26th day of August, 2014.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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