Kevin Wolfe v. Nancy A. Berryhill, No. 16-4469 (8th Cir. 2017)

Annotate this Case
Court Description: Per Curiam - Before Gruender, Benton and Kelly, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Social Security. The ALJ's credibility findings were supported by good reasons and substantial evidence; ALJ's reasons for discounting claimant's treating psychiatrist were valid and there is no merit to claimant's challenges to the ALJ's determinations of his mental residual functional capacity.
Download PDF
United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 16-4469 ___________________________ Kevin L. Wolfe lllllllllllllllllllll Plaintiff - Appellant v. Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security lllllllllllllllllllll Defendant - Appellee ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa - Des Moines ____________ Submitted: September 26, 2017 Filed: September 29, 2017 [Unpublished] ____________ Before GRUENDER, BENTON, and KELLY, Circuit Judges. ____________ PER CURIAM. Kevin L. Wolfe appeals the district court’s1 order upholding the denial of disability insurance benefits. This court reviews de novo the district court’s decision 1 The Honorable Ronald E. Longstaff, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Iowa, now retired. affirming the denial of benefits, examining whether the administrative law judge’s (ALJ) decision is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. See Igo v. Colvin, 839 F.3d 724, 728 (8th Cir. 2016). We find no merit to Wolfe’s challenges to the ALJ’s credibility findings. See Julin v. Colvin, 826 F.3d 1082, 1086 (8th Cir. 2016) (noting that credibility findings are ALJ’s province, and, so long as they are supported by “good reasons and substantial evidence,” this court will defer to those findings (quoting Guilliams v. Barnhart, 393 F.3d 798, 801 (8th Cir. 2005))). We also find no merit to Wolfe’s challenges to the ALJ’s determination of his mental residual functional capacity (RFC), because the ALJ’s reasons for discounting the opinion of Wolfe’s treating psychiatrist were valid, see Perkins v. Astrue, 648 F.3d 892, 897–99 (8th Cir. 2011) (holding that treating physician’s opinion does not automatically control, as record must be evaluated as whole; it is permissible for ALJ to discount treating physician’s opinion that is inconsistent with his own notes); and the mental RFC determination was consistent with the medical evidence, see Boyd v. Colvin, 831 F.3d 1015, 1020 (8th Cir. 2016) (explaining that “it is the responsibility of the ALJ, and not a physician, to determine a claimant’s RFC” based on all relevant evidence: medical records, observations of treating physicians and others, and claimant’s own description of his limitations); Hensley v. Colvin, 829 F.3d 926, 931–32 (8th Cir. 2016) (stating that the claimant bears the burden of demonstrating RFC, which must be supported by some medical evidence, but there is no requirement that finding be supported by specific medical opinion). The judgment of the district court is affirmed. ______________________________ -2-