United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. JORDAN III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Margaret Wilson contests the Social Security
Administration's finding that she is not disabled. Wilson
raises four points of error, all of which the magistrate
judge thoroughly addressed in a well-researched Report and
Recommendation . While the Court adopts that
recommendation in its entirety, it will offer a few
general matter, this is one of those cases that leaves a
bitter taste. The Court conducted an exhaustive review of the
record as a whole and admittedly was left with different
conclusions than those the ALJ adopted. But as the magistrate
judge correctly noted, the Court may “not re-weigh the
evidence, try the questions de novo, or substitute
[its] judgment for the Commissioner's, even if [it]
believe[s] the evidence weighs against the Commissioner's
decision.” Masterson v. Barnhart, 309 F.3d
267, 272 (5th Cir. 2002). This standard exists for a reason.
The undersigned is limited to a cold record and was not
present to see Plaintiff and hear her testimony. Ultimately,
the ALJ applied the correct legal standards, and for the
reasons stated in the Report and Recommendation, substantial
evidence supported her conclusions. The decision must
therefore be affirmed.
substantively, there are two objections the Court will
further address. First, Wilson says the ALJ improperly
weighed her credibility, failing to account for her
“pain disorder.” At Step Three of the sequential
analysis, the ALJ included “pain disorder” among
the severe impairments that had been established.
See Rec.  at 16. But at the next step, the ALJ
concluded that this disorder did not meet or medically equal
the severity of the impairment in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart
P, Appendix 1. More specifically, it did not meet or
medically equal the requirements of 12.07 (somatoform
disorder). Id. at 17. Moving to Step Five, the ALJ
concluded that Wilson suffers pain, “however, the
claimant's statements concerning the intensity,
persistence, and limiting effects of these symptoms are not
entirely credible for the reasons explained in this
decision.” Id. at 20.
objections, Wilson suggests that she has somatoform disorder.
“The basic feature of somatoform disorders is the
presence of physical symptoms for which there are no
demonstrable organic findings.” Latham v.
Shalala, 36 F.3d 482, 484 (5th Cir. 1994) (citing 20
C.F.R. subpt. P, app. 1, § 12.07 (1994)). She then says:
“[A]n ALJ may not find that a claimant with somatoform
disorder lacks credibility because the symptoms are not
supported by objective medical data.” Pl.'s Obj.
 at 5.
general statement is somewhat true. In Latham v.
Shalala, there was evidence that the claimant (Latham)
might have somatoform, yet the ALJ dismissed his complaints
of pain because “Latham's physical ailments were
not serious.” 36 F.3d at 484. The Fifth Circuit found
that the ALJ should have complied with 20 C.F.R. §
404.1529(b) and investigated the possibility that the
“pain symptoms existed as a result of the
never cites Latham and does not suggest that the ALJ
failed to follow § 404.1529. Indeed, the ALJ expressly
states that she did. See Rec.  at 19. And this is
not a case where the ALJ failed to acknowledge the possible
effects of a mental disorder that induces otherwise
unexplained pain. As noted, the ALJ found that Wilson has
“pain disorder, ” id. at 16, credited
her subjective complaints of pain to some extent,
id. at 20, but found that the “intensity,
persistence, and limiting effects of these symptoms are not
entirely credible, ” id. (emphasis
reached that conclusion based on more than just the lack of
physical findings that might account for the pain. First, the
ALJ recognized her duty to consider the “physical or
mental impairment(s) that could reasonably be expected to
produce the claimant's pain” before making a
credibility determination. Id. at 19. She then noted
that the credibility determination must be “based on a
consideration of the entire case record.” Id.
The ALJ then cataloged the claimant's history, noting,
inter alia, instances where she “did not
demonstrate any pain behaviors.” Id. at 22.
The ALJ also noted “numerous inconsistencies
undermining credibility.” Id. at 23.
Ultimately, the ALJ concluded Wilson's complaints of
disability were “less than fully credible, ”
noting “the degree of symptoms and limitations alleged
by the claimant due to pain is not consistent with the
objective medical evidence regarding these impairments, or
her functional ability, including her statements about her
daily activities.” Id. at 24.
district courts within the Fifth Circuit have faced similar
cases, where the ALJ considered the effects of somatoform or
“pain disorders, ” but based on other substantial
evidence concluded that the claimant's pain complaints
were not entirely credible. Those courts have affirmed the
commissioner. See, e.g., Corpany v. Colvin,
No. 4:12-CV-878-A, 2014 WL 1255316, at *5-6 (N.D. Tex. Mar.
26, 2014) (finding that ALJ did not ignore somatoform
disorder because credibility finding was “[b]ased on
all the evidence” including claimant's
“reports of her daily activities”); Downing
v. Astrue, No. 2:11-CV-0170, 2012 WL 4354928, at *12-14
(N.D. Tex. Sept. 7, 2012), report and recommendation
adopted, No. 2:11-CV-0170, 2012 WL 4354915 (N.D. Tex.
Sept. 24, 2012) (recommending affirmance and noting that ALJ
acknowledged somatoform but found complaints inconsistent
with evidence found in medical records regarding complaints
of pain along with other evidence); Cromwell v.
Astrue, No. 4:10-CV-061-Y, 2011 WL 666282, at *4-6 (N.D.
Tex. Jan. 21, 2011), report and recommendation
adopted, No. 4:10-CV-061-Y, 2011 WL 666279 (N.D. Tex.
Feb. 14, 2011) (recommending affirmance and noting that ALJ
considered inconsistencies between pain complaints and
claimant's “daily activities”). For these
reasons, and those addressed in the Report and
Recommendation, the Court finds that this objection should be
only other point that merits brief attention relates to the
alternative-work finding. One of the jobs the ALJ identified
was storage rental clerk. Rec.  at 26. In her objections,
Wilson says the ALJ reached a conflicting result because that
job would require reasoning level three, whereas the ALJ
restricted Wilson to “simple routine tasks.”
Pl.'s Obj.  at 7 (citing Rec.  at 18). This Court
has previously addressed this issue, holding that a residual
functioning capacity “limited to simple work or tasks
is not necessarily inconsistent with level-three
reasoning.” Ruffin v. Colvin, No.
3:16CV18-DPJ-FKB, 2017 WL 536549, at *4 (S.D.Miss. Feb. 8,
2017). For this, and the other reasons more thoroughly
addressed in the Report and Recommendation, this objection is
Court has considered all arguments raised by Wilson in her
objection; those not addressed would not have changed the
outcome. The Court finds that the Report and Recommendation
 should be adopted as the opinion of the Court;
Wilson's motion for summary judgment  is denied; and
the Commissioner's motion to affirm  is granted. The
decision of the Commissioner is affirmed, and this action is
dismissed with prejudice.
separate judgment will be entered in accordance with Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 58.