Everett v. Social Security Administration, Commissioner, 061919 FED11, 18-13697
|Opinion Judge:||PER CURIAM:|
|Party Name:||MARTHA EVERETT, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, COMMISSIONER, Defendant-Appellee.|
|Judge Panel:||Before MARCUS, ROSENBAUM, and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges.|
|Case Date:||June 19, 2019|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit|
DO NOT PUBLISH
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama D.C. Docket No. 4:17-cv-00029-JEO
Before MARCUS, ROSENBAUM, and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges.
Martha Everett appeals the order of the district court affirming the Social Security Administration's ("SSA") denial of her application for disability insurance benefits. On appeal, she argues that the administrative law judge ("ALJ") erred in giving partial weight to the opinion of her treating neurologist, Dr. Richard Diethelm, and discounting his opinions regarding her functional capabilities and the side effects of her medication. Everett contends that the ALJ also improperly substituted his opinion regarding Everett's functional capacity for the opinions of psychologist Dr. David Wilson, who examined her on one occasion, and social worker Dave Harvey. Finally, she argues that the ALJ's decision was not supported by substantial evidence because it was based on the testimony of a vocational expert ("VE"), which was itself based on a hypothetical that did not include all of Everett's limitations.
In Social Security appeals, we review the decision of an ALJ as the Commissioner's final decision when the ALJ denies benefits and the Appeals Council denies review of the ALJ's decision. Doughty v. Apfel, 245 F.3d 1274, 1278 (11th Cir. 2001). We review the Commissioner's legal conclusions de novo and consider whether the Commissioner's factual findings are supported by substantial evidence. Lewis v. Barnhart, 285 F.3d 1329, 1330 (11th Cir. 2002) (per curiam). "Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Lewis v. Callahan, 125 F.3d 1436, 1440 (11th Cir. 1997). We do not reweigh the evidence, make credibility determinations, or substitute our judgment for that of the ALJ. Moore v. Barnhart, 405 F.3d 1208, 1211, 1213 (11th Cir. 2005) (per curiam).
Eligibility for disability insurance benefits requires that the claimant is under a disability. 42 U.S.C. § 423(a)(1)(E). In order to determine whether a claimant is disabled, the Commissioner applies a five-step sequential evaluation. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4). This process includes...
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