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BENSON v. SAUL (2019)

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Kimberly A. BENSON Plaintiff - Appellant v. Andrew SAUL,1 Commissioner of Social Security Administration Defendant - Appellee

No. 18-3619

Decided: September 25, 2019

Before GRUENDER, STRAS, and KOBES, Circuit Judges. Gregory Ross Giles, Moore & Giles LLP, Texarkana, AR, for Plaintiff - Appellant James A. Garrett, Assistant Regional Counsel, Social Security Administration, Office of General Counsel Region VI, Dallas, TX, Mark W. Webb, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Arkansas, Fort Smith, AR, for Defendant - Appellee


Kimberly Benson appeals the district court's 2 order affirming the denial of disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. After careful consideration of Benson's arguments for reversal, we agree with the court that substantial evidence in the record as a whole supports the adverse decision. See Nash v. Comm'r, Soc. Sec. Admin., 907 F.3d 1086, 1089 (8th Cir. 2018) (de novo review of district court's judgment; affirmance is warranted if Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial evidence in record as whole). Specifically, substantial evidence supported the administrative law judge's (ALJ's) findings that Benson's impairments did not meet any listings, see Blackburn v. Colvin, 761 F.3d 853, 859 (8th Cir. 2014) (upholding ALJ's finding that listing 12.04 was not met where there was no evidence that claimant had episodes of decompensation of requisite length and frequency); the ALJ's credibility determination, see Nash, 907 F.3d at 1090 (this court defers to ALJ's credibility determination as long as it is supported by good reasons and substantial evidence); and the ALJ's evaluation of the medical opinions, see Lawson v. Colvin, 807 F.3d 962, 966 (8th Cir. 2015) (ALJ did not err in giving less weight to physician's low Global Assessment of Functioning score, which was inconsistent with overall evidence and not supported by claimant's functioning). We also find that the post-hearing evidence Benson submitted does not undermine the ALJ's decision. See Stephens v. Shalala, 50 F.3d 538, 541 (8th Cir. 1995) (treating physician's opinion submitted to Appeals Council that did not cite any objective evidence to support its conclusions and contradicted examination finding did not detract from substantial evidence supporting ALJ findings).

The judgment is affirmed. See 8th Cir. R. 47B.


2.   The Honorable Barry A. Bryant, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas, to whom the case was referred for final disposition by consent of the parties pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).


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BENSON v. SAUL (2019)

Docket No: No. 18-3619

Decided: September 25, 2019

Court: United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

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