United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
F. BIVINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Sherone Dennise York (hereinafter “Plaintiff”),
seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner
of Social Security denying her claim for a period of
disability, disability insurance benefits, and supplemental
security income under Titles II and XVI of the Social
Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401, et seq.,
and 1381, et seq. On May 2, 2017, the parties
consented to have the undersigned conduct any and all
proceedings in this case. (Doc. 19). Thus, the action was
referred to the undersigned to conduct all proceedings and
order the entry of judgment in accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73. Upon
careful consideration of the administrative record and the
memoranda of the parties, it is hereby ORDERED that the
decision of the Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
Procedural History 
protectively filed her application for benefits on March 6,
2013, alleging disability beginning August 12, 2010, based on
an amputated left arm from a motor vehicle accident, swelling
in her leg, and headaches. (Doc. 14-1 at 11, 15).
Plaintiff's application was denied and upon timely
request, she was granted an administrative hearing before
Administrative Law Judge Walter Lassiter, Jr. (hereinafter
“ALJ”) on July 11, 2014. (Doc. 13-2 at 48).
Plaintiff attended the hearing with her counsel and provided
testimony related to her claims. (Doc. 13-2 at 50). A
vocational expert (“VE”) also appeared at the
hearing and provided testimony. (Doc. 13-2 at 72). On
November 24, 2014, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision
finding that Plaintiff is not disabled. (Doc. 13-2 at 25).
The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review
on April 20, 2016. (Doc. 13-2 at 4). Therefore, the ALJ's
decision dated November 24, 2014, became the final decision
of the Commissioner.
exhausted her administrative remedies, Plaintiff timely filed
the present civil action. (Doc. 1). The parties waived oral
argument on May 2, 2017 (Doc. 18) and agree that this case is
now ripe for judicial review and is properly before this
Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and
Issue on Appeal
Whether the ALJ erred in finding that Plaintiff does not meet
the criteria for Listing 12.05C?
was born on July 30, 1974 and was thirty-nine years of age at
the time of her administrative hearing on July 11, 2014.
(Doc. 14-1 at 11; Doc. 13-2 at 48). Plaintiff graduated from
high school and completed one and a half years of college
studies. (Doc. 14-2 at 149).
worked from 1997 to 2007 as a stocker at Walmart until she
lost her arm in a motor vehicle accident. (Doc. 14-2 at 149;
Doc. 14 at 20; Doc. 14-1 at 3). At the administrative
hearing, Plaintiff testified that she cannot work due to
phantom pain in her arm, inability to lift, problems with
balancing while standing, and swollen knees from obesity.
(Doc. 13-2 at 59, 62-63, 65, 68-69).
Standard of Review
reviewing claims brought under the Act, this Court's role
is a limited one. The Court's review is limited to
determining 1) whether the decision of the Secretary is
supported by substantial evidence and 2) whether the correct
legal standards were applied. Martin v. Sullivan, 894
F.2d 1520, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990). A court may not decide the
facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or substitute its judgment
for that of the Commissioner. Sewell v. Bowen, 792
F.2d 1065, 1067 (11th Cir. 1986). The Commissioner's
findings of fact must be affirmed if they are based upon
substantial evidence. Brown v. Sullivan, 921 F.2d
1233, 1235 (11th Cir. 1991); Bloodsworth v. Heckler,
703 F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983) (holding substantial
evidence is defined as “more than a scintilla, but less
than a preponderance” and consists of “such
relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.”). In determining
whether substantial evidence exists, a court must view the
record as a whole, taking into account evidence favorable, as
well as unfavorable, to the Commissioner's decision.
Chester v. Bowen, 792 F.2d 129, 131 (11th Cir.
1986); Short v. Apfel, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10163,
*4 (S.D. Ala. June 14, 1999).
Statutory And Regulatory Framework
individual who applies for Social Security disability
benefits must prove his or her disability. 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1512, 416.912. Disability is defined as 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 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1505(a), 416.905(a). The Social Security