United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
ORDER OF REMAND
Cogburn Jr. United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court upon plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment and the Commissioner's Motion
for Summary Judgment. Having carefully considered such
motions and reviewed the pleadings, the Court enters the
following findings, conclusions, and Order.
filed an application for a period of disability and
Disability Insurance Benefits. Plaintiff's claim was
denied both initially and on reconsideration; thereafter,
plaintiff requested and was granted a hearing before an
administrative law judge (“ALJ”). After
conducting a hearing, the ALJ issued a decision which was
unfavorable to plaintiff, from which plaintiff appealed to
the Appeals Council. Plaintiff's request for review was
denied, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of
the Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”). Thereafter, plaintiff timely
filed this action.
Standard of Review
Court's review of the Commissioner's determination is
limited to evaluating whether the findings are supported by
substantial evidence and whether the correct law was applied.
Mascio v. Colvin, 780 F.3d 632, 634 (4th Cir. 2015).
“Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Johnson v. Barnhart, 434 F.3d
650, 653 (4th Cir. 2005) (internal quotation marks omitted).
A reviewing court does not reweigh evidence or make
credibility determinations in evaluating whether a decision
is supported by substantial evidence; “[w]here
conflicting evidence allows reasonable minds to differ as to
whether a claimant is disabled, ” this Court will defer
to the Commissioner's decision. Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted). Thus, the only issues on review are
whether the Commissioner applied the correct legal standards
and whether the Commissioner's decision is supported by
substantial evidence. Richardson v. Perales, 402
U.S. 389, 390 (1971); Hays v. Sullivan, 907 F.2d
1453, 1456 (4th Cir. 1990).
court has read the transcript of plaintiff's
administrative hearing, closely read the decision of the ALJ,
and reviewed the extensive exhibits contained in the
administrative record. The issue is not whether a court might
have reached a different conclusion had he been presented
with the same testimony and evidentiary materials, but
whether the decision of the administrative law judge is
supported by substantial evidence.
five-step process, known as “sequential” review,
is used by the Commissioner in determining whether a Social
Security claimant is disabled. The Commissioner evaluates a
disability claim under Title II pursuant to the following
a. An individual who is working and engaging in substantial
gainful activity will not be found to be