Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bowden v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Middle Division

September 30, 2019

PATRICK RYAN BOWDEN, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ABDUL K. KALLON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Patrick Bowden brings this action pursuant to the Social Security Act (“the Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking review of the final adverse decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). The court finds that the Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision—which has become the decision of the Commissioner—is not supported by substantial evidence. Thus, the ALJ’s decision is due to be remanded.

         I. Procedural History

         Bowden, who has no past relevant work experience, filed an application for Supplemental Security Income on May 1, 2015, alleging a disability due to high blood pressure, posttraumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), Asberger’s Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Agoraphobia, and Von Willebrand’s Disorder. R. 158, 183. After the SSA denied Bowden’s claim, R. 117, he requested a hearing before an ALJ, R. 124. The ALJ subsequently denied Bowden’s claim. R. 6–22. The Appeals Council affirmed, rendering the ALJ’s decision the final decision of the Commissioner. R. 1–5. Having exhausted his administrative remedies, Bowden filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Doc. 1.

         II. Standard of Review

         The court reviews the ALJ’s factual findings under the substantial evidence standard. Martin v. Sullivan, 894 F.2d 1520, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990). 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.” Id. (quotation omitted). If supported by substantial evidence, the court must affirm the ALJ’s factual findings even if the evidence preponderates against those findings. Id. The court “may not decide the facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or substitute [its] judgment” for the ALJ’s. Bloodsworth v. Heckler, 703 F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983). However, the court must review the entire record, including the parts unfavorable to the ALJ’s decision, to determine whether substantial evidence exists in support of that decision. Swindle v. Sullivan, 914 F.2d 222, 225 (11th Cir. 1990).

         In contrast, the court reviews de novo whether the ALJ applied the correct legal standard. Moore v. Barnhart, 405 F.3d 1208, 1211 (11th Cir. 2005). In this way, the court’s review of the Commissioner’s decision is “demarcated by a deferential reconsideration of the findings of fact and an exacting examination of the conclusions of law.” Martin, 894 F.2d at 1529.

         III. Statutory and Regulatory Framework

         To qualify for disability benefits, a claimant must show “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairments 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 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A); 42 U.S.C. § 416(i). A physical or mental impairment is “an impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which are demonstrated by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(3).

         Determination of disability under the Act requires a five step analysis. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)–(f). Specifically, the ALJ must determine in sequence:

(1) whether the claimant is currently unemployed;
(2) whether the claimant has a severe impairment;
(3) whether the impairment meets or equals one listed by the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.