Gail Jones v. Michael Astrue, No. 14-1365 (4th Cir. 2014)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 14-1365 GAIL S. JONES, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant - Appellee. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Richmond. Robert E. Payne, Senior District Judge. (3:12-cv-00909-REP) Submitted: October 30, 2014 Decided: November 25, 2014 Before SHEDD and THACKER, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Gail S. Jones, Appellant Pro Se. Jonathan Holland Hambrick, Robin Perrin Meier, Assistant United States Attorneys, Richmond, Virginia; Beverly Hope Zuckerman, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Gail S. Jones appeals the district court’s order adopting the magistrate judge’s recommendation and upholding the Commissioner’s denial insurance benefits. reversible error. proceed in judgment. forma of Jones’ application for disability We have reviewed the record and find no Accordingly, although we grant Jones leave to pauperis, we affirm the district court’s Jones v. Astrue, No. 3:12-cv-00909-REP (E.D. Va. Mar. 4, 2014). Jones challenges the ALJ’s conclusion that her hearing loss, knee pain, and foot issues did not render her disabled. Our review of this conclusion is limited to evaluating whether the ALJ’s findings are supported by substantial evidence and whether the correct law was applied. See Johnson v. Barnhart, 434 F.3d 650, 653 (4th Cir. 2005) (per curiam). “Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Craig v. Chater, 76 F.3d 585, 589 (4th Cir. 1996) (quoting Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971)) (internal quotation marks omitted). If conflicting evidence allows reasonable minds to differ on an issue, we defer to the ALJ’s conclusion. Id. First, Jones argues the ALJ should have given more weight to the opinions of Audiologist Bridgette Fowler and Dr. Julie Redmond and should have 2 credited Jones’s statements regarding her alleged impairment. The ALJ permissibly afforded less weight to the opinions of Fowler and Redmond because their opinions (e.g., were inconsistent Jones’s ability with to other drive, substantial shop, attend communicate effectively at the hearings). 270 F.3d 171, (4th regarding testified 178 the description of her Cir. daily of Also, her activities church, and See Mastro v. Apfel, 2001). extent evidence although impairment, and Dr. Jones Wayne Jones’s Shaia’s opinion and the ALJ’s impression that Jones could communicate effectively despite her impairment support the ALJ’s decision not to fully credit Jones’s testimony regarding her impairment. Second, Jones argues the ALJ should have considered the opinions of doctors from Colonial Heights Orthopedics before concluding Jones is not disabled due to her knee condition. This argument was not raised at the district court and cannot be considered on appeal. See United States v. Edwards, 666 F.3d 877, 887 (4th Cir. 2011). To the extent Jones challenges the ALJ’s conclusion that her knee pain was not sufficiently severe, the ALJ’s conclusion was supported by substantial evidence. Although Jones reported pain and was diagnosed with crepitus, there were no other abnormalities in her knee. Rather, the evidence during the relevant period shows that Jones pulled her knee on an exercise bike, not potentially disabling condition. 3 that she presented with a Finally, although Jones mentions her foot pain in her informal brief, she does not provide an argument addressing the ALJ’s rejection of her allegations of disability due to bursitis and plantar fasciitis. review of this issue. She has, therefore, forfeited appellate See 4th Cir. R. 34(b). We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal before contentions this court are adequately and argument presented would not in aid the the material decisional process. AFFIRMED 4