United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
KENDARIUS D. MOSS, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
Russ Walker, United States Magistrate Judge.
Kendarius Moss commenced this action on July 11, 2017,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review
of a final adverse decision of the Commissioner denying his
application for disability insurance benefits and
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”).
See Doc. 1; Doc. 12. In his applications, plaintiff
alleged disability as of June 1, 2014, because of a gunshot
to the right flank area, bilateral leg weakness, bullet in
the left upper breast area, chronic back pain with drainage
bag, and drainage bag for kidneys. See R. 149, 153,
175. On July 6, 2016, Administrative Law Judge Frank M.
Klinger (“the ALJ”) issued an adverse decision
after holding a hearing on October 8, 2015, on the
plaintiff's application. See R. 20-27, 33-53. The
Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review on
May 17, 2017, and the ALJ's decision became the final
decision of the Commissioner. See R. at 1-5.
instant appeal, the plaintiff asks the court to reverse the
Commissioner's adverse decision and award benefits or, in
the alternative, remand this cause to the Commissioner under
sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). See Doc.
12 at 13. This case is ripe for review pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g), 1383(c)(3). The parties have consented
to entry of final judgment by the Magistrate Judge.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c); see also Docs.
10, 11. For the reasons stated herein, and based upon its
review of the record, the court finds that the
Commissioner's decision is due to be affirmed.
addition, the plaintiff moves for an award of reasonable
attorney's fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice
Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 241(d).
See Doc. 12 at 13. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 54(d)(2)(B), the plaintiff also requests an
extension of time to file a motion for attorney's fees
under 42 U.S.C. § 406(b). See id. These motions
will be denied.
court's review of the Commissioner's decision is
narrowly circumscribed. The function of this court is to
determine whether the decision of the Commissioner is
supported by substantial evidence and whether proper legal
standards were applied. Richardson v. Perales, 402
U.S. 389, 390 (1971); Wilson v. Barnhart, 284 F.3d
1219, 1221 (11th Cir. 2002). This court must
“scrutinize the record as a whole to determine if the
decision reached is reasonable and supported by substantial
evidence.” Bloodsworth v. Heckler, 703 F.2d
1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983). Substantial evidence is
“such relevant evidence as a reasonable person would
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”
Id. It is “more than a scintilla, but less
than a preponderance.” Id. A reviewing court
“may not decide facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or
substitute [its] decision for that of the
[Commissioner].” Dyer v. Barnhart, 395 F.3d
1206, 1210 (11th Cir. 2005). In other words, this court is
prohibited from reviewing the Commissioner's findings of
fact de novo, even where a preponderance of the
evidence supports alternative conclusions.
the court must uphold factual findings that are supported by
substantial evidence, it reviews the ALJ's legal
conclusions de novo because no presumption of
validity attaches to the ALJ's determination of the
proper legal standards to be applied. Davis v.
Shalala, 985 F.2d 528, 531 (11th Cir. 1993). If the
court finds an error in the ALJ's application of the law,
or if the ALJ fails to provide the court with sufficient
reasoning for determining that the proper legal analysis has
been conducted, it must reverse the ALJ's decision.
Cornelius v. Sullivan, 936 F.2d 1143, 1145-46 (11th
qualify for SSI and establish his or her entitlement for a
period of disability, a claimant must be disabled as defined
by the Social Security Act and the Regulations promulgated
thereunder. The Regulations define “disabled” as
“the inability to do 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 twelve (12) months.” 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1505(a), 416.905(a). To establish an
entitlement to disability benefits, a claimant must provide
evidence about a “physical or mental impairment”
that “must result from anatomical, physiological, or
psychological abnormalities which can be shown by medically
acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic
techniques.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1508, 416.908.
Regulations provide a five-step process for determining
whether a claimant is disabled. 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(i-v), 416.920(a)(4)(i-v). The Commissioner
must determine in sequence:
(1) whether the claimant is currently employed;
(2) whether the claimant has a severe impairment;
(3) whether the claimant's impairment meets or equals an
impairment listed by the Commissioner;
(4) whether the claimant can perform his or her past work;
(5) whether the claimant is capable of performing any work in
the national economy.
Pope v. Shalala, 998 F.2d 473, 477 (7th Cir. 1993)
(citing to a formerly applicable C.F.R. section),
overruled on other grounds by Johnson v. Apfel, 189
F.3d 561, 562-63 (7th Cir. 1999); accord McDaniel v.
Bowen, 800 F.2d 1026, 1030 (11th Cir. 1986). The
sequential analysis goes as follows:
Once the claimant has satisfied steps One and Two, [he] will
automatically be found disabled if [he] suffers from a listed
impairment. If the claimant does not have a listed impairment
but cannot perform [his] work, the burden shifts to the