Submitted: January 12, 2017
from United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Arkansas - Batesville
COLLOTON, GRUENDER, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.
GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.
Scott appeals the decision of the district
court affirming the administrative law
judge's ("ALJ") denial of his application for
supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social
Security Act. See 42 U.S.C. § 1381-1383f.
Because the decision of the ALJ is supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole, we affirm.
applied for supplemental security income in January 2013,
alleging disability due to a back condition, migraine
headaches, hearing loss, and a left eye injury. He alleged a
disability onset date of October 15, 2012. Scott did not
complete the eighth grade, but he has held jobs as an animal
caretaker farm worker (a semiskilled occupation),
construction worker, and power plant cleaner. Scott injured
his back in a fall and eventually stopped working in 2012 due
to back pain.
claim was denied initially, upon reconsideration, and after a
hearing before an ALJ. The ALJ employed the five-step
evaluation process prescribed by 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a).
At step one, the ALJ considers whether the claimant is
performing "substantial gainful activity, " and, if
so, finds that the person is not disabled. 20 C.F.R. §
416.920(a)(4)(i). The ALJ found that Scott had not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since the application date. At
step two, the ALJ considers whether the claimant has a
"severe medically determinable physical or mental
impairment that meets the duration requirement."
Id. at § 416.920(a)(4)(ii). Here, the ALJ found
that Scott suffered two severe impairments: borderline
intellectual functioning and a back disorder. At step three,
the ALJ considers whether the claimant's severe
impairment meets or equals an impairment listed in 20 C.F.R.
Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. Id. at §
416.920(a)(4)(iii). If so, then the ALJ must find the
claimant disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(d). At this
step, the ALJ found that Scott's impairments do not meet
or equal one of the listed impairments. The ALJ considered
Listing 12.05, finding that Scott did not manifest deficits
in adaptive functioning prior to age twenty-two. The ALJ
noted Scott's history of attending special education
classes but explained that the consultative examiners did not
identify any other significant deficits. The ALJ also
considered Listing 12.02, finding that Scott has only mild
restrictions in daily living activities, mild difficulties in
social functioning, and moderate difficulties in
concentration, persistence, or pace. The ALJ noted that Scott
is able to cook, help feed his sister's calves, do
laundry, dust, drive short distances, and care for personal
hygiene. Although Scott reads and writes poorly and cannot
balance a checkbook, he communicates effectively, can perform
simple math, requires no reminders to complete chores, and is
able to focus enough to watch television three hours per day.
Thus, the ALJ found Scott did not meet or equal a listed
four, the ALJ determines the claimant's residual
functional capacity ("RFC") and considers whether
the claimant can perform past relevant work. Id. at
§ 416.920(a)(4)(iv). The ALJ found that Scott has the
residual functional capacity to perform medium, unskilled
work. However, the work is limited to jobs with few
variables, little independent judgment, and interpersonal
contact incidental to the work performed. Supervision should
be simple, direct, concrete, and brief, and the work cannot
involve making change. Tasks should be able to be
"learned and performed by rote." The ALJ then found
that Scott cannot perform past relevant work. At step five,
the ALJ considers the claimant's RFC, age, education, and
work experience to determine whether the claimant can adjust
to other work. Id. at § 416.920(a)(4)(v). The
vocational expert testified that an individual with
Scott's RFC could work as a cleanup worker or poultry
hanger, jobs existing in substantial numbers in the national
economy. As a result, the ALJ found Scott not disabled and
denied his application for supplemental security income. The
Appeals Council denied review.
challenged the ALJ's decision in the Eastern District of
Arkansas pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The district
court affirmed the ALJ's decision, and Scott now appeals.
He challenges the ALJ's determination that he did not
meet Listing 12.05C and contends that the ALJ failed to
include his limitations in concentration, persistence, or
pace in the RFC hypothetical.
review the district court's determination de
novo, affirming the ALJ's decision if it is
"supported by substantial evidence on the record as a
whole." Perkins v. Astrue, 648 F.3d 892, 897
(8th Cir. 2011) (quotation omitted). "Substantial
evidence is relevant evidence that a reasonable mind would
accept as adequate to support the Commissioner's
conclusion." Goff v. Barnhart, 421 F.3d 785,
789 (8th Cir. 2005) (quoting Young v. Apfel, 221
F.3d 1065, 1068 (8th Cir. 2000) (quotation marks omitted)).
While we must consider evidence both supporting and
detracting from the ALJ's decision, we will not reverse
"simply because some evidence may support the opposite
conclusion." Id. Rather, "[i]f, after
reviewing the record, the court finds it is possible to draw
two inconsistent positions from the evidence and one of those
positions represents the ALJ's findings, the court must
affirm the ALJ's decision." Id.
substantial evidence supports the ALJ's determination
that Scott does not meet or equal Listing 12.05C. Listing
12.05C requires: 1) "significantly subaverage general
intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive
functioning initially manifested . . . before age 22, "
2) "[a] valid verbal, performance, or full scale IQ of
60 through 70, " and 3) "a physical or other mental
impairment imposing an additional and significant
work-related limitation of function." 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404,
Subpt. P, App. 1, § 12.05C (2013). The ALJ found and the
parties do not dispute that Scott's IQ of 63 falls within
the prescribed range and that Scott has a qualifying physical