United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
CHARLES S. COODY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Tim Olin Sanders (“Sanders”) protectively filed a
Title II application for a period of disability and
disability benefits and a Title XVI application for
supplemental security income, alleging that he became
disabled on December 1, 2012. (R. 55, 214-15, 216-17). His
applications were denied at the initial administrative level.
The plaintiff then requested and received a hearing before
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Michael D.
Anderson. Following a hearing held on February 18, 2015, (R.
74-96), the ALJ issued a decision denying the claims on May
29, 2015. (R. 52-68). The Appeals Council denied Sanders'
subsequent request for review (R. 6-9). The ALJ's
decision consequently became the final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”). See Chester v.
Bowen, 792 F.2d 129, 131 (11th Cir. 1986). The case is
now before the court for review pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405 (g) and 1383(c)(3). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c), the parties have consented to entry of final
judgment by the United States Magistrate Judge. (Docs. ## 9
& 10). Based on the court's review of the record in
this case and the briefs of the parties, the court concludes
that the decision of the Commissioner should be affirmed.
Standard of Review
42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A) a person is entitled to
disability benefits when the person is unable 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 . . .
this determination the Commissioner employs a five-step,
sequential evaluation process. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520, 416.920.
(1) Is the claimant presently unemployed?
(2) Is the claimant's impairment severe?
(3) Does the claimant's impairment meet or equal one of
the specific impairments set forth in 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404,
Subpt. P, App. 1?
(4) Is the claimant unable to perform his or former
(5) Is the claimant unable to perform any other work within
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
McDaniel v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 1026, 1030 (11th Cir.
standard of review of the Commissioner's decision is a
limited one. This court must find the Commissioner's
decision conclusive if it is supported by substantial
evidence. Graham v. Apfel, 129 F.3d 1420, 1422 (11th
Cir. 1997); 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). “Substantial
evidence is more than a scintilla, but less than a
preponderance. It is such relevant evidence as a reasonable
person would accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S.
389, 401 (1971). A reviewing court may not look only to those
parts of the record which supports the decision of the ALJ,
but instead must view the record in its entirety and take
account of evidence which detracts from the evidence relied
on by the ALJ. Hillsman v. Bowen, 804 F.2d 1179
(11th Cir. 1986).
[The court must] . . . scrutinize the record in its entirety
to determine the reasonableness of the [Commissioner's] .
. . factual findings . . . No similar presumption of validity
attaches to the [Commissioner's] . . . legal conclusions,
including determination of the proper standards to be applied
in evaluating claims.
Walker v. Bowen, 826 F.2d 996, 999 (11th Cir. 1987).
was forty-six years old on the date of the administrative
hearing and one day shy of being forty-seven years old on the
date the ALJ issued his opinion. (R. 77). Sanders has
completed the eighth grade. (Id.). His prior work
experience includes work as a machine operator processor and
a repair shop technician small engine mechanic. (R. ...