PENSACOLA — A U.S. district court judge has affirmed a final decision of the commissioner of the Social Security Administration, denying a Florida woman’s request for disability insurance benefits.
In her order, Judge Elizabeth Timothy of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ruled that upon review she found that the factual findings and determinations of the commissioner were supported by “substantial evidence.”
On Aug. 14, 2013, Debbie Marie Turner, who was previously a cashier at Wal-Mart, filed for disability insurance benefits. In her application, she alleged she became disabled on Jan. 22, 2013.
A hearing was held due to the initial request being denied and on June 8, 2015, an administrative judge ruled that Turner was not disabled. An administrative appeals council would late deny Turner’s request for review. Turner then appealed to the federal court for a procedural review.
In the opinion Timothy cited Martin v Sullivan, saying that in reviewing rulings made by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration the court may not “decide the facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or substitute its judgment for that of the Commissioner.”
Timothy further cited the holding in Sewell v Bowen, which states that the decision of the commissioner must be affirmed if the decision is supported “by substantial evidence.”
In reviewing the decision of the commissioner, the judge said that it was determined that the plaintiff's vocation was as a retail cashier and a child care attendant. Timothy said the evidence supported the decision that a person with the illness and limitation the plaintiff described in her appeal would be able to perform the duties expected of either a retail cashier or child care worker.
The judge also said the commissioner’s decision was indeed supported by substantial evidence and should not be changed. Furthermore, Timothy said the plaintiff did not prove any improper legal standards were applied nor were there any other grounds for a reversal.