Peterson v. Berryhill, (M.D. Fla. Aug. 10, 2018) (Decision of Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone)

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Included: Parties’ Joint Memorandum and Order Issue Briefed:

  1. 1)  The ALJ did not properly weigh the opinion of treating neurologist, Dr. Rodriguez.

  2. 2)  The ALJ’s credibility finding is not supported by substantial evidence.

  3. 3)  The ALJ’s step four finding is not supported by substantial evidence.

The court held that the ALJ’s decision contains reversible error as the ALJ failed to specifically state the weight he assigned the opinion of Dr. Rodriguez, a treating source. Id. at 6-7. While the ALJ stated that “Dr. Rodriguez’s opinion was not entitled to controlling weight and articulated his reasons for that conclusion,” the “ALJ failed to specifically state how much weight he assigned Dr. Rodriguez’s opinion.” Id. Without an explanation, “it is impossible for the court to determine whether substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s decision.” Id. at 7. The court further stated:

Courts review an ALJ’s decision to determine whether substantial evidence supports the Commissioner’s final decision. Crawford v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 363 F.3d 1155, 1158 (11th Cir. 2004). Without specifically stating weight assigned to medical opinions, a court cannot determine whether substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s decision. Winschel v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec, 631 F.3d 1176, 1179 (11th Cir. 2011). Because the ALJ failed to state how much weight he gave Dr. Rodriguez’s opinion, the court cannot determine whether substantial evidence supports the ALJ’s decision with respect to other issues Mr. Peterson raised in the joint memorandum. Therefore, the court need not address those other issues because the ALJ’s analysis of Dr.

 

Rodriguez’s opinion could materially affect them. Id. at 7.