United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
WILLIAM H. GOSSETT, III PLAINTIFF
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DEFENDANT
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge Billy Roy Wilson. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objections; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
William H. Gossett, III, applied for disability benefits on
February 4, 2016, alleging a disability onset date of
September 1, 2015. (Tr. at 17). The application was denied
initially and upon reconsideration Id. After
conducting a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) denied Mr. Gossett's claim. (Tr. at
25). The Appeals Council denied his request for review. (Tr.
at 1). The ALJ's decision now stands as the final
decision of the Commissioner, and Mr. Gossett has requested
judicial review. For the reasons stated below, the Court
should affirm the decision of the Commissioner.
The Commissioner=s Decision:
found that Mr. Gossett had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date of September 1, 2015.
(Tr. at 19). At Step Two of the sequential five-step
analysis, the ALJ found that Mr. Gossett had the following
severe impairments: degenerative disc disease at the L4-5 and
L5-S1 levels and macular degeneration in the left eye.
found that Mr. Gossett's impairment did not meet or equal
a listed impairment. (Tr. at 20). Before proceeding
to Step Four, the ALJ determined that Mr. Gossett had the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
work at the medium level, except that because of monocular
vision at times he would not have good depth perception, but
he was able to operate an automobile. Id.
next found that Mr. Gossett was unable to perform his past
relevant work. (Tr. at 23). The ALJ relied on the testimony
of a Vocational Expert ("VE") to find that,
considering Mr. Gossett's age, education, work experience
and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers in the national
economy that he could perform. (Tr. at 24). Therefore, the
ALJ found that Mr. Gossett was not disabled. Id.
Standard of Review
Court's function on review is to determine whether the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole and whether it is based on
legal error. Miller v. Colvin, 784 F.3d 472, 477
(8th Cir. 2015); see also 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
While “substantial evidence” is that which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion, “substantial evidence on the record as a
whole” requires a court to engage in a more
“[O]ur review is more than an examination of the record
for the existence of substantial evidence in support of the
Commissioner's decision; we also take into account
whatever in the record fairly detracts from that
decision.” Reversal is not warranted, however,
“merely because substantial evidence would have
supported an opposite decision.”
Reed v. Barnhart, 399 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2005)
not the task of this Court to review the evidence and make an
independent decision. Neither is it to reverse the decision
of the ALJ because there is evidence in the record which
contradicts his findings. The test is whether there is
substantial evidence in the record as a whole which supports
the decision of the ALJ. Miller, 784 F.3d at 477.
The Court has ...