United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
CYNTHIA D. WOODS, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
WILLIAM H. BAUGHMAN, JR., MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is an action by Cynthia D. Woods under 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) for judicial review of the final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security denying her applications for
disability insurance benefits and supplemental security
income. Because the ALJ's no disability
finding lacks the support of substantial evidence, this
matter is reversed and remanded for further administrative
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
case presents the following issue for review:
• The ALJ assigned partial weight to the opinion of Dr.
Mannos, Woods's treating physician. Does substantial
evidence support the ALJ's weight assignment?
Sixth Circuit in Buxton v. Halter reemphasized the
standard of review applicable to decisions of the ALJs in
Congress has provided for federal court review of Social
Security administrative decisions. However, the scope of
review is limited under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g): “The
findings of the Secretary as to any fact, if supported by
substantial evidence, shall be conclusive. . . .” In
other words, on review of the Commissioner's decision
that claimant is not totally disabled within the meaning of
the Social Security Act, the only issue reviewable by this
court is whether the decision is supported by substantial
evidence. Substantial evidence is “‘more than a
mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
The findings of the Commissioner are not subject to reversal
merely because there exists in the record substantial
evidence to support a different conclusion. This is so
because there is a “zone of choice” within which
the Commissioner can act, without the fear of court
in the context of a jury trial, all that is necessary to
affirm is that reasonable minds could reach different
conclusions on the evidence. If such is the case, the
Commissioner survives “a directed verdict” and
wins. The court may not disturb the
Commissioner's findings, even if the preponderance of the
evidence favors the claimant.
review the findings of the ALJ at issue here consistent with
that deferential standard.
primary and dispositive challenge in this case goes to
Woods's residual functional capacity (“RFC”)
to the extent that the ALJ's finding did not include a
limitation on Woods's ability for fine and gross
manipulation to occasional.
treating source, Dr. Mannos, opined that Woods had moderate
limitations in her ability to handle. The ALJ gave Dr.
Mannos's opinion partial weight. In doing so, the ALJ did not
discuss Woods's capability to handle. The ALJ also gave
the opinions of the state agency reviewing physicians partial
weight. These sources opined that Woods had no