Black v. Astrue
MEMORANDUM - For the reasons set forth above, the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security is affirmed. An appropriate Judgment Order is issued herewith. Signed by Magistrate Judge David D. Noce on 6/11/13. (KJS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MICHAEL H. BLACK,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,1
Commissioner of Social Security,
No. 4:12 CV 1893 DDN
This action is before the court for judicial review of the final decision of the
defendant Commissioner of Social Security denying the application of plaintiff Michael
H. Black for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42
U.S.C. §§ 401, et seq., and for supplemental security income under Title XVI of that Act,
42 U.S.C. §§ 1381, et seq.
The parties have consented to the exercise of plenary
authority by the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(c). (Doc. 10.) For the reasons set forth below, the decision of the Administrative
Law Judge is affirmed.
Plaintiff Michael H. Black, born on July 5, 1962, filed applications for Title II and
Title XVI benefits on March 22 and 31, 2011. (Tr. 108-17.) He alleged an onset date of
disability of September 12, 2010, due to arthritis and gout in the right knee, numbness of
the left foot, pain with sitting, arthritis of the right hand and knee, pain in the left foot and
On February 14, 2013, Carolyn W. Colvin became the Acting Commissioner of Social
Security. The court hereby substitutes Carolyn W. Colvin as defendant in her official
capacity. Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(d).
low back, and high blood pressure. (Tr. 137.) Plaintiff’s applications were denied
initially on June 8, 2011, and he requested a hearing before an ALJ. (Tr. 45-54.)
On June 27, 2012, following a hearing, the ALJ found plaintiff not disabled. (Tr.
10-18.) On August 20, 2012, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff’s request for review.
(Tr. 1-6.) Thus, the decision of the ALJ stands as the final decision of the Commissioner.
II. MEDICAL HISTORY
On October 14, 2010, plaintiff met with Teresita Cometa, M.D., to refill his
medication for hypertension.
Dr. Cometa prescribed a three-month prescription for
triamterene-hydrochlorothiazid and Norvasac.2 (Tr. 206-07.)
On November 9, 2010, plaintiff complained of right knee swelling that began one
month earlier. Terri C. Coble, M.D. assessed continued hypertension and arthropathy of
multiple sites in the right knee.3 A right knee X-ray revealed a probable old rupture with
degeneration of the medial meniscus and degenerative osteoarthritis with calcified loose
bodies. Dr Coble instructed plaintiff to return to discuss the X-ray. (Tr. 205-08.)
On January 6, 2011, plaintiff returned to Dr. Coble to discuss his lab results and
X-ray. Plaintiff complained of significant knee pain and difficulty walking distances.
Plaintiff rated his pain level at 5 out of 10. Dr. Coble noticed tenderness on the innerside of the knee. Dr. Coble recommended a low-fat diet and referred plaintiff for an
orthopedic evaluation. (Tr. 203-04.)
On January 26, 2011, plaintiff was seen at the Smiley Urgent Care Center and
complained of pain in his right knee stemming from an injury on the stairs four days
prior. Myung Kang, M.D., found plaintiff’s X-ray revealed minimal degenerative joint
disease. Dr. Bala Vittal Varanasi diagnosed hypertension, arthritis, and osteoarthritis and
noted that he could not exclude gout as a potential diagnosis. He administered an
Triamterene-hydrochlorothiazid and Norvasc are used to treat high blood pressure.
WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/drugs (last visited on May 24, 2013).
Arthropathy is a term used to describe a disease affecting a joint. Stedman’s Medical
Dictionary, 161 (28th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2006) (“Stedman”).
intramuscular injection of ketorolac tromethamine.4 He also prescribed Indomethacin,
Ranitidine, Tramadol, and acetaminophen.5 Plaintiff was fitted for crutches and given an
Ace wrap with instructions. Plaintiff stated he felt better upon discharge. (Tr. 215-21.)
On April 7, 2011, plaintiff visited Dr. Coble to follow-up on his hypertension and
degenerative joint disease on his right knee. Dr. Coble advised plaintiff to attend his
orthopedic appointment on April 11, 2011 and to continue with his medication. (Tr. 201202.)
On April 11, 2011, David Kieffer, M.D., examined plaintiff in relation to a
complaint of right knee pain lasting six months or more. Dr. Kieffer diagnosed plaintiff
with osteoarthritis of the knee and administered a corticosteroid injection into the right
knee. Plaintiff was to follow up in three months. (Tr. 213-14.)
On April 15, 2011, Dr. Coble submitted a Medical Source Statement – Physical
form regarding the physical capabilities of the plaintiff. She found plaintiff could lift or
carry frequently five pounds up to two-thirds of a typical 8-hour day, stand or walk less
than fifteen minutes continuously without a break, stand or walk less than one hour, sit
continuously without a break for fifteen minutes, and sit for less than one hour total. She
also found plaintiff could not operate foot controls, should never balance, stoop, kneel,
crouch, or crawl, but he could occasionally climb.
She found that plaintiff could
frequently reach, handle, finger, feel, see, speak, hear, and did not need an assistive
device for ambulation or balance. She found plaintiff should avoid any exposure to
extreme cold or wetness/humidity, avoid moderate exposure to extreme heat, weather,
and heights, and avoid concentrated exposure to dust/fumes, vibration, and hazards. She
Ketorolac is used for the short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain in adults.
Tromethamine is used to treat excess body acid. WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/drugs
(last visited on May 24, 2013).
Indomethacin is used to relieve pain, swelling, and joint stiffness caused by arthritis,
gout, bursitis, and tendonitis. Ranitidine is used to treat and prevent heartburn. Tramadol
is used to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain.
http://www.webmd.com/drugs (last visited on May 24, 2013).
found plaintiff should lie down three times a day for fifteen to twenty minutes each.
Lastly, she found plaintiff’s pain caused decreased persistence and pace. (Tr. 225-26.)
On May 11, 2011, plaintiff arrived at urgent care by wheelchair complaining of a
broken little toe on his left foot caused by hitting his foot on the couch. He mentioned his
left leg sustained a gunshot in 1993, causing drop left foot.6 X-rays showed a fracture of
the fifth metatarsal on the left foot. Emilio Bianchi, P.A., applied a splint and cast to the
left foot, instructed plaintiff to use crutches, and prescribed Tramadol for pain. He
advised plaintiff to refrain from bearing weight on his left foot and to see an orthopedist.
On June 2, 2011, plaintiff went to the emergency room complaining of right
posterior shoulder pain. Martin A. Docherty, M.D., examined plaintiff, and gave him a
prescription for a Hydrocodone, cyclobenzaprine, and Naproxen. 7
diagnosed a right shoulder strain. Plaintiff was released the same day. (Tr. 233-50.)
On June 6, 2011, plaintiff met with Dr. Kieffer about his broken toe and left foot.
Dr. Kieffer assessed osteoarthritis in the right knee and metatarsal fracture. He injected
corticosteroids into plaintiff’s right knee. He instructed plaintiff to follow up in three
months and to perform exercises as prescribed. (Tr. 231-32.)
On July 29, 2011, plaintiff met with Dr. Coble.
Plaintiff stated the steroid
injection from Dr. Kieffer afforded him some relief. Dr. Coble assessed hypertension,
hyperlipidemia and arthropathy on multiple sites in the right knee.8 (Tr. 229-30.)
Foot drop, sometimes called "drop foot," is the inability to lift the front part of the foot,
which causes the toes to drag along the ground while walking.
visited on May 24, 2013).
Hydrocodone is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, hay
fever, or other breathing illnesses. Cyclobenzaprine is used short-term to treat muscle
spasms. Naproxen is used to relieve pain. WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/drugs (last
visited on May 24, 2013).
Hyperlipidemia is the elevation of lipids in blood plasma. Stedman at 922.
On March 15, 2012, plaintiff saw Dr. Coble to refill his prescriptions and get a
referral for his knee problems. Plaintiff reported he had no pain. Dr. Coble assessed
hypertension and hyperlipidemia. (Tr. 227-28.)
On April 14, 2012, plaintiff met with Robert Taxman, M.D., and complained of
hand stiffness and right shoulder pain that radiated to his neck and right arm. Plaintiff
requested an additional steroid injection for his right knee. Dr. Taxman found that
plaintiff’s X-ray revealed minimal degenerative joint disease as well as densities
throughout the shoulder. Dr. Taxman diagnosed acute pain in the right shoulder and
chronic pain in the right knee due to osteoarthritis. He injected Toradol into plaintiff’s
right arm, and placed it into a sling. (Tr. 284-90.)
Testimony at the Hearing
The ALJ conducted a hearing on June 12, 2012. (Tr. 24-38.) Plaintiff testified to
the following. He is 49 years old and completed tenth grade. He lives with his wife and
two daughters, ages eighteen and twenty-one. (Tr. 24, 32.)
He worked as a meat cutter from 1999 to 2004. He worked as a maintenance
worker at a mental hospital from 2004 to 2008. At the mental hospital, he stripped and
buffed floors and cleaned bedrooms and bathrooms with a buffing machine. He last
worked as a meat cutter from 2009 to 2010. His employer terminated him because the
swelling in his knee made him unable to perform his duties. Subsequently, he received
unemployment benefits for about two months. (Tr. 25-27.)
He has high blood pressure but takes medication that controls it. His right knee
has no cartilage, and he receives steroid injections every three months. He has suffered
constant pain in his right knee for the past year and a half. Although he requires a knee
replacement, he does not have insurance. His knee last underwent testing about April of
last year at Connect Care. He went to Connect Care because his arm sometimes “got
stuck”. The condition clears up after two to three weeks. He received a prescription and
instructions to obtain therapy. (Tr. 27-29.)
He fractured his toe in 2011, which eventually healed. He has had a dropped left
foot since 1993 which affected his past work due to blood rushing to his toes. To
facilitate blood circulation, after sitting for about twenty minutes, he removes his shoe or
elevates his foot on a chair. It has increased in severity since he stopped working. He
elevates his legs for about an hour five or six times per day. He cannot move his foot up
and down, and the foot drops without his shoe. He has difficulty walking and removing
himself from his bed. His wife wiggles his legs to help blood circulation. Sometimes,
his legs give out from under him. (Tr. 28-29, 31.)
He can stand for about an hour and a half before pain shoots through his leg, into
the lower part of his back, which causes him to be unable to stand straight. To regain the
ability to stand straight, he must lie down and elevate both of his legs. He can walk one
block, but he must elevate his leg afterwards due to swelling. He also suffers pain and
swelling in his left knee, which may also require knee replacement surgery. He cannot
squat, and, if he drops an object, he requires a family member’s assistance. Although he
received instructions to avoid climbing, he can climb stairs with the help of a rail. The
pain in his right knee puts pressure on his left knee, which causes pain in the left knee.
His shoulder bothered him for the past three to four months. One morning, he
awoke to find himself unable to raise his right arm. He saw a doctor who instructed him
to run hot water on his shoulder and will see Dr. Coleman soon for therapy. His doctor
told him that throwing meat boxes on his shoulder caused the injury. He also has arthritis
in his right hand that causes swelling and a locked wrist. (Tr. 31-32.)
His average day consists of watching television and walking to keep blood
circulating through his legs. He tries to stay off of his knee because the joints rub
together, which causes the bones to splinter. He mainly walks to use the restroom. He
sometimes goes shopping with his wife, but he typically stays in the car while she shops.
Although he once performed yard work, he no longer does so due to his knee. He can no
longer cut meat or play softball because of his knee. He does not cook at home. (Tr. 3334.)
He does not have medical insurance, and he has trouble affording treatments and
medications. He takes muscle relaxers for his legs and hands but alleviate only his pain
and cause dizziness. (Tr. 32.)
He can lift no more than fifteen pounds. His grandson weighs about fifteen
pounds, and plaintiff can hold him for five to ten minutes. Plaintiff told Dr. Coble that he
could only lift 5 pounds because his legs hurt worse at that time. He can stand and walk
less than an hour during an 8-hour workday. He can sit for only an hour due to his
dropped foot. (Tr. 34-35.)
Vocational expert (VE) Gerald Belchick also testified at the hearing. The ALJ
asked hypothetically if an individual aged 48 with ten years of education, who can lift
twenty pounds occasionally and ten pounds frequently, stand, walk, or sit for six hours,
occasionally climb stairs and ramps, never climb ropes, ladders or scaffolds, occasionally
stoop, kneel, crouch, or reach overhead, and should avoid exposure to unprotected
heights, could perform any of plaintiffs past work. The VE testified that plaintiff's past
work as a meat cutter requires heavy exertional effort, and his past work as a cleaner with
a buffing machine requires medium exertional effort. He opined plaintiff could not
perform any past work. (Tr. 35-36.)
However, he opined such individual could work as a cleaner, which includes tasks
such as dusting, emptying wastebaskets, and rearranging chairs and is unskilled, light
work with about 5,800 positions locally and 420,000 positions nationwide. Also, the VE
determined such an individual could be an unarmed security guard, which requires
standing or walking for a period of time and is unskilled, light work with 1,100 positions
locally and 82,000 positions nationwide. (Tr. 36-37.)
The ALJ then presented a hypothetical individual who could lift only 5 pounds
frequently, stand and walk less than one hour, and sit one hour. The VE responded that
these limitations would not allow the individual to perform any past work or any other
work. (Tr. 37.)
Plaintiff’s counsel then asked the VE to assume ALJ’s first hypothetical, except
that such individual could stand and walk for only 2 hours. The VE opined that such
individual could perform no light work. (Tr. 37.)
III. DECISION OF THE ALJ
On June 27, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision that plaintiff was not disabled. (Tr.
10-18.) At Step One of the prescribed regulatory decision-making scheme,9 the ALJ
found that plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 10,
2010, the alleged onset date. (Tr. 12.)
At Step Two, the ALJ found that plaintiff’s severe impairments were obesity and
minimal degenerative joint disease of the right knee, right shoulder, and left ankle. (Id.)
At Step Three, the ALJ found that plaintiff had no impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments
in 20 CFR 404.1520(d). (Tr. 13.)
The ALJ considered the record and found that plaintiff had the residual functional
capacity (RFC) to perform light work, which includes lifting and carrying 20 pounds
occasionally and ten pounds frequently, standing or walking for six hours out of eight,
and sitting for six hours of eight, except that plaintiff could only occasionally stoop,
kneel, crouch, climb stairs/ramps, or reach overhead with his right arm. He also found
plaintiff could never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds and should avoid concentrated
exposure to unprotected heights.
At Step Four, the ALJ found that plaintiff could
perform no past relevant work. (Tr. 13-16.)
At Step Five, the ALJ found plaintiff capable of performing jobs existing in
significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 16-17.)
See below for explanation.
IV. GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES
The court’s role on judicial review of the Commissioner’s decision is to determine
whether the Commissioner’s findings comply with the relevant legal requirements and
are supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Pate-Fires v. Astrue, 564
F.3d 935, 942 (8th Cir. 2009). “Substantial evidence is less than a preponderance, but is
enough that a reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the Commissioner’s
conclusion.” Id. In determining whether the evidence is substantial, the court considers
evidence that both supports and detracts from the Commissioner's decision. Id. As long
as substantial evidence supports the decision, the court may not reverse it merely because
substantial evidence exists in the record that would support a contrary outcome or
because the court would have decided the case differently. See Krogmeier v. Barnhart,
294 F.3d 1019, 1022 (8th Cir. 2002).
To be entitled to disability benefits, a claimant must prove he is unable to perform
any substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable physical or mental
impairment that would either result in death or which has lasted or could be expected to
last for at least twelve continuous months.
42 U.S.C. §§ 423(a)(1)(D), (d)(1)(A),
1382c(a)(3)(A); Pate-Fires, 564 F.3d at 942. A five-step regulatory framework is used to
determine whether an individual is disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4); see also Bowen
v. Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 140-42 (1987) (describing the five-step process); Pate-Fires,
564 F.3d at 942 (same).
Steps One through Three require the claimant to prove (1) he is not currently
engaged in substantial gainful activity, (2) he suffers from a severe impairment, and (3)
his disability meets or equals a listed impairment. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(i)-(iii). If
the claimant does not suffer from a listed impairment or its equivalent, the
Commissioner’s analysis proceeds to Steps Four and Five.
Step Four requires the
Commissioner to consider whether the claimant retains the RFC to perform his past
relevant work (PRW). Id. § 404.1520(a)(4)(iv). The claimant bears the burden of
demonstrating he is no longer able to return to his PRW. Pate-Fires, 564 F.3d at 942. If
the Commissioner determines the claimant cannot return to PRW, the burden shifts to the
Commissioner at Step Five to show the claimant retains the RFC to perform other work
that exists in significant numbers in the national economy.
Id.; 20 C.F.R. §
Plaintiff argues: (1) the ALJ erroneously assessed his credibility; and (2)
substantial evidence does not support the ALJ’s RFC assessment.
Plaintiff argues the ALJ made erroneous conclusions when assessing plaintiff’s
credibility. More specifically, plaintiff argues the ALJ incorrectly found that plaintiff
was not prescribed narcotic pain medications, and the ALJ incorrectly found plaintiff not
credible because he did not follow through with his orthopedic appointments.
In determining the credibility of testimony and complaints, the adjudicator must
give full consideration to all of the evidence presented relating to subjective complaints,
including the claimant's prior work record, and observations by third parties and treating
and examining physicians relating to such matters as: (1) the claimant's daily activities;
(2) the duration, frequency and intensity of the pain; (3) precipitating and aggravating
factors; (4) dosage, effectiveness and side effects of medication; (5) functional
restrictions. Polaski v. Heckler, 739 F.2d 1320, 1321–22 (8th Cir. 1984). The ALJ is not
required to discuss each Polaski factor as long as “he acknowledges and considers the
factors before discounting a claimant's subjective complaints.” Moore v. Astrue, 572 F.3d
520, 524 (8th Cir. 2009) (citing Goff v. Barnhart, 421 F.3d 785, 791 (8th Cir. 2005)); see
also Samons v. Apfel, 497 F.3d 813, 820 (8th Cir. 2007) (citing Tucker v. Barnhart, 363
F.3d 781, 783 (8th Cir. 2004) (while the Polaski factors should be taken into account,
“we have not required the ALJ's decision to include a discussion of how every Polaski
‘factor’ relates to the claimant's credibility.”) “Subjective complaints may be discounted
if there are inconsistencies in the evidence as a whole.” Id. “If an ALJ explicitly
discredits the claimant's testimony and gives good reason for doing so, we will normally
defer to the ALJ's credibility determination.” Juszczyk v. Astrue, 542 F.3d 626, 632 (8th
Concerning the frequency, intensity, and duration of the pain, the ALJ
determined the plaintiff’s subjective descriptions of the impairments were inconsistent
with plaintiff’s objective medical records. (Tr. 15.) He noted plaintiff had physical
impairments that could reasonably be attributed to cause the alleged pain; however, they
did not rise to the level alleged by the plaintiff. (Tr. 14.) Plaintiff testified regarding
constant pain in his right knee for the past year and a half, but according to his objective
medical records, he had no pain in March 2012.
(Tr. 29, 227-28.)
acknowledged that plaintiff testified he had no cartilage in his knee. (Tr. 14.) X-rays
taken in January 2011 led to a diagnosis of only minimal degenerative joint disease. (Tr.
221.) The ALJ noted plaintiff alleged a “dropped left foot”, but no evidence in the
medical records confirms this ailment. (Tr. 14.) The ALJ found that the objective
medical evidence, including treatment notes discussing plaintiff’s pain level, does not
indicate a condition that could reasonably be expected to produce pain of the intensity
The ALJ also relied on the lack of prescribed narcotic
medications and the failure to follow up on orthopedic appointments.
The ALJ found medication improved plaintiff’s symptoms.
receiving a steroid injection in June 2011, plaintiff reported some relief. (Id.; Tr. 229.)
Despite plaintiff’s testimony that his medications made him “dizzy”, the medical records
contain no complaint of this side effect.
Furthermore, the treatment notes
established plaintiff’s pain was “largely well controlled by medication.” (Tr. 15, 229,
First, plaintiff argues the ALJ improperly considered the lack of prescribed
narcotic medication in allegations of pain. However, courts have upheld an ALJ’s use
of lack of narcotic medication in determining the claimant’s credibility. See Masterson v.
Barnhart, 363 F.3d 731, 739 (8th Cir. 2004); Clevenger v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 567 F.3d
971, 976 (8th Cir. 2009).
The ALJ correctly found plaintiff failed to follow up on his orthopedic
appointments. The record shows plaintiff was treated by Dr. Kieffer, an orthopedist, on
June 6, 2011. (Tr. 297-98.) However, the record also shows plaintiff had an appointment
scheduled for June 29, 2011 with the orthopedic department of Saint Louis Connect Care.
(Tr. 295.) Furthermore, plaintiff was told to follow up in three months after Dr. Kieffer’s
initial examination. (Tr. 298.) Lastly, on March 15, 2012, Dr. Coble ordered plaintiff to
consult with an orthopedic specialist. (Tr. 228.) The record does not indicate plaintiff
received any further orthopedic consultation beyond the June 6, 2011 consultation with
Dr. Kieffer nor does the record indicate any resulting diagnosis. (Tr. 295.) Therefore,
the ALJ did not err in finding that plaintiff did not follow up on his orthopedic
Therefore, the ALJ properly applied substantial evidence to the Polaski factors in
order to determine the plaintiff’s credibility.
B. RFC Determination
Plaintiff argues the ALJ’s RFC determination is not supported by substantial
evidence. Specifically, plaintiff challenges the ALJ’s assessment that plaintiff could
perform light work, because light work requires “a good deal of standing and walking”,
which plaintiff argues against.
Plaintiff argues that the ALJ failed to determine plaintiff’s RFC based on the
medical evidence. However, the ALJ relied on several medical records. First, Dr.
Coble’s initial findings led to a diagnosis of a probable old rupture with degeneration of
the medial meniscus of the knee and degenerative osteoarthritis with calcified loose
bodies of the right knee. (Tr. 208.) Plaintiff was then seen by Dr. Varanasi regarding
knee pain following a fall down the stairs which led to a diagnosis of minimal
degenerative joint disease of the right knee. (Tr. 216-21.) Next, Dr. Kieffer treated
plaintiff regarding a broken toe and right knee pain. (Tr. 297-98.) Dr. Kieffer diagnosed
plaintiff with osteoarthritis of the knee and injected plaintiff’s knee with a corticosteroid.
Plaintiff also argues that the ALJ erroneously discredited Dr. Coble’s opinion.
The ALJ may credit or discredit the opinions of physicians for legally sufficient reasons,
such as whether such opinions are substantiated by any records of medical treatment.
Davis v. Shalala, 31 F.3d 753, 756 (8th Cir. 1994); Loving v. Department of HHS, 16
F.3d 967, 971 (8th Cir. 1994).
The ALJ properly determined that the functional restrictions Dr. Coble
recommended were inconsistent with the evidence in the medical records. Dr. Coble’s
medical source statement indicated plaintiff is unable to perform even sedentary
exertional level work with additional significant postural, manipulative, and
environmental limitations. (Tr. 225-26.) The ALJ wrote, first, that he rejected this
opinion because plaintiff testified that the report was made after he told Dr. Coble of his
limitations. (Tr. 15, 34.) Furthermore, the restriction of sitting only one hour had no
objective medical basis, because at the time of the opinion, plaintiff’s only complaint was
his right knee. (Tr. 15.) Dr. Coble never connected the knee issue with the inability to sit
for longer than one hour. (Id.) Also, plaintiff testified that he could lift fifteen pounds
for five to ten minutes at a time; however, the medical source statement created by Dr.
Coble indicated plaintiff could only lift five pounds occasionally. (Tr. 33-34, 225.) The
ALJ properly applied the Polaski factors in order to determine the plaintiff’s credibility
and discussed the inconsistencies between plaintiff’s testimony and the objective medical
Accordingly, substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s credibility
The ALJ’s RFC determination was not, as plaintiff asserts, devoid of medical
evidence. Once the ALJ lawfully discredited plaintiff’s subjective complaints and Dr.
Coble’s medical source statement, the ALJ used the remaining objective medical
evidence in order to determine the RFC of the plaintiff. (Tr. 14-15.) Because the ALJ
based his RFC determination on substantial evidence on the record as a whole, plaintiff’s
argument is without merit.
For the reasons set forth above, the decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security is affirmed. An appropriate Judgment Order is issued herewith.
/S/ David D. Noce
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Signed on June 11 , 2013.
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