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Krummel v. Sual

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

December 5, 2019

JESSE KRUMMEL, SR., o/b/o J.J.K. PLAINTIFF
v.
ANDREW SAUL, Commissioner, Social Security Administration, DEFENDANT

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          JOE J. VOLPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         INSTRUCTIONS

         This recommended disposition has been submitted to United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright. The parties may file specific objections to these findings and recommendations and must provide the factual or legal basis for each objection. The objections must be filed with the Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendations. A copy must be served on the opposing party. The District Judge, even in the absence of objections, may reject these proposed findings and recommendations in whole or in part.

         RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         Jesse Krummel, Sr. brought this action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), on behalf of his minor child, J.J.K., for review of the final decision of the Social Security Administration's denial of his claim for supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 20, 2018, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) rendered a decision finding Plaintiff's son not disabled. (Tr. 9-23.) The ALJ found J.J.K. was a school age child when Plaintiff filed his application, and when the ALJ rendered his decision. (Tr. 12.) See 20 C.F.R. § 416.926a(g)(2). The ALJ also found J.J.K. had never engaged in substantial gainful activity. (Id.) The ALJ determined Plaintiff's son had the following severe impairments: post-traumatic stress disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. (Id.) The ALJ then determined J.J.K.'s impairments or combination of impairments did not meet or medically equal a listed impairment. (Tr. 12-13.) Finally, the ALJ found J.J.K. did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that functionally equaled a listed impairment. (Tr. 13-22.) The ALJ stated, “The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that result in either ‘marked' limitations in two domains of functioning or ‘extreme' limitation in one domain of functioning.” (Tr. 22.) Thus, the ALJ found J.J.K. had not been disabled since March 29, 2017, the date of Plaintiff's application. (Id.) The Appeals Council concluded there was no basis to change the ALJ's decision; so, the ALJ's decision became the Commissioner's final administrative decision subject to judicial review. (Tr. 1-3); See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The role of courts under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) is to determine whether there is substantial evidence in the record to support the decision of the Commissioner, and not to re-weigh the evidence or try the issues de novo. See Prosch v. Apfel, 201 F.3d 1010, 1012 (8th Cir. 2000). If substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's findings and they are conclusive, a court should affirm them. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 390 (1971). Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla but less than a preponderance and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Id. at 401. A court may not reverse a prior determination based only on a finding that substantial evidence would support an opposite decision. See Prosch, 201 F.3d at 1012; Johnson v. Chater, 87 F.3d 1015, 1017 (8th Cir. 1996). Consequently, a court's review of this case is limited and deferential to the Commissioner. See Ostronski v. Chater, 94 F.3d 413, 416 (8th Cir. 1996).

         In determining whether an impairment or combination of impairments functionally equals a listing, the ALJ must have assessed the claimant's functioning in terms of six domains: (1) acquiring and using information; (2) attending and completing tasks; (3) interacting and relating with others; (4) moving about and manipulating items; (5) caring for themselves; and (6) health and physical well-being. 20 C.F.R. § 416.926a(b)(1).

         To functionally equal a listed impairment, the plaintiff's impairment or combination of impairments must result in “marked” limitations in two domains of functioning or an “extreme” limitation in one domain. 20 C.F.R. § 416.924(d). Plaintiff has the burden of proving his disability. See 42 U.S.C. § 1385c(a)(3)(A); Ingram v. Chater, 107 F.3d 598, 601 (8th Cir. 1997). A claimant must meet all of the specified medical criteria of the particular listing. Sullivan v. Zebley, 493 U.S. 521, 530 (1990). The standard for medical equivalency is similarly demanding. In order to equal a listing, plaintiff must present medical findings equal in severity to all the criteria of the listed impairment. Marciniak v. Shalala, 49 F.3d 1350, 1351 (8th Cir. 1995) (citing Sullivan, 493 U.S. at 530 (an impairment does not meet or equal a listing if it has only some of the medical criteria, no matter how severe)).

         After careful consideration of the record and pleadings in this case, for the following reasons, I find the decision of the Commissioner is supported by substantial evidence.

         III. ANALYSIS

         In support of the Complaint, Plaintiff essentially contends that the ALJ's decision is not supported by substantial evidence[1]. (Doc. 12 at 1.) Plaintiff attached twenty-eight pages of records to his Complaint. Those documents will not be considered and only those records that are part of ...


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