United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Jasper Division
BOBBY K. SCOTT, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
H. ENGLAND, III UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Bobby K. Scott brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking review of the Commissioner of Social
Security’s final decision denying his applications for
a period of disability, disability insurance benefits
(“DIB”), and supplemental security income
(“SSI”). Upon review of the record and the relevant
law, the court is of the opinion that the
Commissioner’s decision is due to be
REVERSED, and this action
REMANDED for further administrative
protectively filed applications for a period of disability,
DIB, and SSI on January 21, 2015, alleging he became unable
to work beginning January 15, 2015. (Tr. 144-154). He later
amended his alleged onset date to September 17, 2015. (Tr.
165). The Agency denied his claims initially and Scott
requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”). (Tr. 82-88). Scott attended the hearing
on November 2, 2016, at which the ALJ received testimony from
a vocational expert. (Tr. 32-57). After the hearing, the ALJ
found that Scott was not under a disability at any time
through the date of the decision. (Tr. 25).
then requested review of the ALJ’s decision by the
Appeals Council. (Tr. 7). The Appeals Council denied
Scott’s request for review, making the ALJ’s
decision the final decision of the Commissioner. (Tr. 1-3).
Following denial of review by the Appeals Council, Scott
filed a complaint in this court seeking reversal and remand
of the Agency’s decision. (Doc. 1.)
Standard of Review 
reviewing claims brought under the Social Security Act, this
court’s role is a narrow one: “Our review of the
Commissioner’s decision is limited to an inquiry into
whether there is substantial evidence to support the findings
of the Commissioner, and whether the correct legal standards
were applied.” 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.”
Court must uphold factual findings supported by substantial
evidence. “Substantial evidence may even exist contrary
to the findings of the ALJ, and [the reviewing court] may
have taken a different view of it as a factfinder. Yet, if
there is substantially supportive evidence, the findings
cannot be overturned.” Barron v. Sullivan, 924
F.2d 227, 230 (11th Cir. 1991). However, the Court 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 the proper
legal analysis has been conducted, it must reverse the
ALJ’s decision. Cornelius v. Sullivan, 936
F.2d 1143, 1145-46 (11th Cir. 1991).
Statutory and Regulatory Framework
qualify for disability benefits 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). To
establish entitlement to disability benefits, a claimant must
provide evidence of a “physical or mental
impairment” which “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.
Regulations provide a five-step process for determining
whether a claimant is disabled. 20 C.F.R. §
404.1520(a)(4)(i-v). The Commissioner must determine in
(1) whether the claimant is currently engaged in substantial
(2) whether the claimant has a severe impairment;
(3) whether the claimant’s impairment meets or equals
the criteria contained in one of the Listings of Impairments;
(4) whether the claimant can perform his or her past work;
(5) whether the claimant is capable of performing any work
which exists in significant numbers ...