United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Sorokin United States District Judge
Glynn submitted an application for disability insurance
benefits on January 22, 2014, and an application for
supplemental security income on February 6, 2014, claiming an
alleged onset date of July 10, 2011. R. at 20. Glynn's
claims were denied initially on May 14, 2014, and on
reconsideration on September 30, 2014. Id. Glynn
requested a hearing before an ALJ but did not appear at the
hearing. Id. The ALJ denied Glynn's claims on
May 26, 2015. R. at 35. The ALJ found at step one that Glynn
had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since July
10, 2011, R. at 22; at step two that Glynn had multiple
severe impairments, R. at 22; at step three that those
impairments did not meet the definition of a severe
impairment or combination of impairments under the
regulations, R. at 23; at step four that Glynn's RFC
allowed for light work except she could only occasionally
stoop or crouch which did not allow her to do her past
relevant work, R. at 25, 34; and at step five that jobs
existed in significant numbers in the national economy that
Glynn could perform, R. at 35.
August 14, 2015, the Appeals Council denied Glynn's
request for review. R. at 10. Glynn then filed this action
seeking judicial review by the Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES
Glynn's Motion to Reverse, Doc. No. 15, and ALLOWS the
Defendant's Motion to Affirm, Doc. No. 16.
Standard of Review
Court's jurisdiction is limited to reviewing the
Administrative Record to determine whether the ALJ applied
the proper legal standards and whether the decision is
supported by substantial evidence in the record. 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g); Manso-Pizarro v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 76 F.3d 15, 16 (1st Cir. 1996) (per
curiam). Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind, reviewing the evidence in the record as a
whole, could accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
Rodriguez v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs.,
647 F.2d 218, 222 (1st Cir. 1981). Determinations of
credibility and the resolution of conflicts in the evidence
are for the Commissioner and not for the doctors or for
courts. Id.; see Richardson v. Perales, 402
U.S. 389, 399 (1971).
administrative findings of fact are not conclusive
“when derived by ignoring evidence, misapplying the
law, or judging matters entrusted to experts.”
Nguyen v. Chater, 172 F.3d 31, 35 (1st Cir. 1999)
(per curiam). If the Court finds that the Commissioner's
decision is based on legal error or is not supported by
substantial evidence, it has the power to modify or reverse
the Commissioner's decision, with or without remanding
for rehearing. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
as is the case here, the Plaintiff is pro se, “the
[C]ourt holds her pleadings to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers and will interpret
[Glynn's] pleadings to raise the strongest arguments that
they suggest.” Tefera v. Colvin, 61 F.Supp.3d
207, 214 (D. Mass. 2014) (first alteration in original)
(citations omitted) (quoting Ming v. Astrue, No.
07-4567, 2009 WL 2495947, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 13, 2009)).
Under a liberal reading of Glynn's Motion to Reverse,
Doc. No. 15, the Court sees the following
arguments: substantial evidence did not support the
ALJ's RFC finding because he did not properly consider
the opinion of Dr. Uzogara and because he denied her
application due to her refusal to take medications;
substantial evidence did not support the ALJ's finding at
step four; and that substantial evidence did not support the
ALJ's finding at step five that Glynn could still perform
other jobs existing in significant numbers in the national
ALJ's RFC Finding
to 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(e) and 416.920(e), the ALJ
must determine a claimant's RFC, which is a
claimant's ability to do physical and mental work on a
sustained basis despite limitations from her impairments. In
making the RFC finding, the ALJ must consider all of the
claimant's impairments, including impairments that are
not severe. See 20 CFR 404.1520(e), 404.1545,
416.945; SSR 96-8p. The ALJ formulated Prescott's RFC as
After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that
the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b)
except she can only occasionally stoop or crouch. She is able
to sustain concentration, persistence and pace for 2-hour
periods over the course of an 8-hour workday and 40-hour
workweek. She is able to manage appropriate, superficial
interactions in the workplace and respond to supervision.
R. at 25.
argument is difficult to ascertain but the Court understands
her to be arguing that the ALJ erred in analyzing her RFC
because she did not take medications and because the ALJ did
not properly consider the opinion of Dr. Uzogara.
must “always consider the medical opinions in [the]
case record.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(b). Under the
“treating source rule, ” the ALJ should generally
give “more weight” to the opinions of
“treating sources, since these sources are likely to be
the medical professionals most able to provide a detailed,
longitudinal picture of [a claimant's] medical
impairment(s) and may bring a unique perspective to the
medical evidence that cannot be obtained from the objective
medical findings alone or from reports of individual
examinations.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(c)(2).
“Generally, a treating source's opinion on the
nature or severity of impairments is given controlling weight
if well-supported by medically acceptable clinical techniques
and consistent with ...