Watkinsv.Comm'r, Soc. Sec. Admin.

United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth CircuitJun 10, 2019
No. 18-3120 (8th Cir. Jun. 10, 2019)

No. 18-3120

06-10-2019

Matthew Todd Watkins Plaintiff - Appellant v. Commissioner, Social Security Administration Defendant - Appellee


Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Little Rock [Unpublished] Before ERICKSON, WOLLMAN, and GRASZ, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM.

Matthew Todd Watkins appeals the district court's affirmance of the Commissioner's decision denying him disability insurance benefits (DIB). We find that the decision denying DIB is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. See Chesser v. Berryhill, 858 F.3d 1161, 1164 (8th Cir. 2017) (de novo review; where it is possible to draw two inconsistent conclusions from evidence and one of them represents Commissioner's findings, this court must affirm). Specifically, we conclude that the administrative law judge's (ALJ's) residual functional capacity (RFC) determination was proper, see Combs v. Berryhill, 878 F.3d 642, 646 (8th Cir. 2017) (ALJ determines RFC based on all relevant evidence, including medical records, observations of treating physicians and others, and claimant's own description of his limitations), in part because the opinion of Watkins's treating neurologist that he would miss at least four days of work per month was properly discounted, see Wildman v. Astrue, 596 F.3d 959, 964 (8th Cir. 2010) (treating physician's opinion was properly discounted as conclusory, as it was in checklist format, cited no medical evidence, and offered little or no elaboration); see also Gieseke v. Colvin, 770 F.3d 1186, 1189 (8th Cir. 2014) (ALJ properly relies on vocational expert's testimony when hypothetical question captures concrete consequences of claimant's deficiencies). We also conclude that the credibility findings of the administrative law judge (ALJ) were entitled to deference, as they were supported by valid reasons. See Julin v. Colvin, 826 F.3d 1082, 1086 (8th Cir. 2016) (where good reasons and substantial evidence support ALJ's credibility determination, it is entitled to deference).

The Honorable Kristine G. Baker, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas, adopting the report and recommendations of the Honorable Joe J. Volpe, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. --------

The judgment is affirmed.