United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Christopher G. Roundy, Esq. John J. Engel, Esq. Michael L.
J. McAuliffe United States District Judge
to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), claimant, Diane Renee Gilmore,
moves to reverse or vacate the Acting Commissioner's
decision denying her application for Supplemental Security
Income Benefits under Title XVI of the Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1381-1383(c). The Acting Commissioner objects
and moves for an order affirming her decision.
reasons discussed below, claimant's motion is denied, and
the Acting Commissioner's motion is granted.
filed an application for supplemental security income on
September 22, 2015,  alleging that she had been unable to work
since January 7, 2007, due to a combination of mental and
physical impairments. Administrative Record (“Admin.
Rec.”) at 57, 121. That application was denied (Admin.
Rec. at 57, 71), and claimant requested a hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) (Admin. Rec. at
September 28, 2017, Gilmore appeared with counsel before an
ALJ, along with a vocational expert, who considered
claimant's application de novo. Admin. Rec. at 23-71. At
the hearing, claimant amended her alleged onset date to
August 20, 2015. Admin. Rec. at 576. On October 17, 2017, the
ALJ issued his written decision, concluding that Gilmore was
not disabled, as that term is defined in the Act, at any time
prior to the date of the decision. Id. at 10-22.
sought review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals
Council. Admin. Rec. at 119. By notice dated January 29,
2018, the Appeals Council denied Gilmore's request for
review. Admin. Rec. at 1-4. Accordingly, the ALJ's denial
of Gilmore's application for benefits became the final
decision of the Acting Commissioner, subject to judicial
review. Id. at 1. Subsequently, claimant filed a
timely action in this court, asserting that the ALJ's
decision is not supported by substantial evidence.
to this court's Local Rule 9.1, the parties have
submitted a statement of stipulated facts which, because it
is part of the court's record (document no. 10), need not
be recounted in this opinion. Those facts relevant to the
disposition of this matter are discussed as appropriate.
“Substantial Evidence” and Deferential
to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the court is empowered “to
enter, upon the pleadings and transcript of the record, a
judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of
the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without
remanding the cause for a rehearing.” Factual findings
and credibility determinations made by the Commissioner are
conclusive if supported by substantial evidence. See 42
U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c)(3). See also Irlanda
Ortiz v. Secretary of Health & Human Services, 955
F.2d 765, 769 (1st Cir. 1991). Substantial evidence is
“such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”
Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229
(1938). It is something less than a preponderance of the
evidence, so the possibility of drawing two inconsistent
conclusions from the evidence ...