United States District Court, D. Kansas
LAURA M. F., Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. Lungstrum United States District Judge
se Plaintiff seeks review of a decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security converting her Disability
Insurance Benefits (DIB), paid from the Federal Disability
Insurance Trust Fund, to Retirement benefits, paid from the
Federal Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, upon her
attainment of full retirement age pursuant to section 201(h)
of the Social Security Act. 42 U.S.C. § 401(h)
(hereinafter the Act). Finding no error in the Administrative
Law Judge's (ALJ) decision, the court ORDERS that
judgment shall be entered pursuant to the fourth sentence of
42 U.S.C. § 405(g) AFFIRMING the Commissioner's
argues that she needs all her benefits including Supplemental
Security Income (SSI), (disability?), and retirement. (Pl.
court's review is guided by the Act. Wall v.
Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009). Section
405(g) of the Act provides that in judicial review
“[t]he findings of the Commissioner as to any fact, if
supported by substantial evidence, shall be
conclusive.” 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The court must
determine whether the ALJ's factual findings are
supported by substantial evidence in the record and whether
he applied the correct legal standard. Lax v.
Astrue, 489 F.3d 1080, 1084 (10th Cir. 2007);
accord, White v. Barnhart, 287 F.3d 903,
905 (10th Cir. 2001). Substantial evidence is more than a
scintilla, but it is less than a preponderance; it is
“such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”
Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971);
see also, Wall, 561 F.3d at 1052;
Gossett v. Bowen, 862 F.2d 802, 804 (10th Cir.
court may “neither reweigh the evidence nor substitute
[its] judgment for that of the agency.” Bowman v.
Astrue, 511 F.3d 1270, 1272 (10th Cir. 2008) (quoting
Casias v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs.,
933 F.2d 799, 800 (10th Cir. 1991)); accord,
Hackett v. Barnhart, 395 F.3d 1168, 1172 (10th Cir.
2005); see also, Bowling v. Shalala, 36
F.3d 431, 434 (5th Cir. 1994) (The court “may not
reweigh the evidence in the record, nor try the issues de
novo, nor substitute [the Court's] judgment for the
[Commissioner's], even if the evidence preponderates
against the [Commissioner's] decision.”) (quoting
Harrell v. Bowen, 862 F.2d 471, 475 (5th Cir.
1988)). Nonetheless, the determination whether substantial
evidence supports the Commissioner's decision is not
simply a quantitative exercise, for evidence is not
substantial if it is overwhelmed by other evidence or if it
constitutes mere conclusion. Gossett, 862 F.2d at
804-05; Ray v. Bowen, 865 F.2d 222, 224 (10th Cir.
found that Plaintiff was confused, thinking that she had been
receiving SSI benefits since June 1990, but that she actually
“began receiving an unreduced disability benefit”
(DIB) at that time. (R. 12). He found that Plaintiff reached
full retirement age in February 2015 and, in accordance with
20 C.F.R. § 404.316(b)(3) her disability benefits ceased
with the January 2015 payment and she began receiving
retirement benefits in February 2015. Id. at 12-13.
He found that the retirement benefits paid were the same as
the disability benefits previously paid and Plaintiff was not
disadvantaged by the change in trust funds. Id. at
refers to “TPQY - Confidential Supplemental Security
Income Data On [her social security record] Date[d] 11-05-98,
” and argues her SSI benefits began in June of 1990 and
the only benefit she ever received was SSI benefits until she
began receiving retirement benefits in 2015. (Pl. Br. 1). She
also argues that she did not receive benefits she should have
received from The Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, or
which she should have received from a worker's
compensation case in which she was represented by Mr. James
M. Sheeley. Id. at 1-2.
Commissioner argues that the ALJ found that Plaintiff's
DIB was properly converted to retirement benefits in
accordance with 20 C.F.R. § 404.316(b)(3). (Comm'r
Br. 3-4). He argues that the ALJ's decision applied the
correct legal standard, is supported by the record evidence,
and should be affirmed by the court. Id. at 4.
record provides a basis for Plaintiff's claims. (R. 70,
72, 73, 84, 93-97). However, the record does not suggest that
the Social Security Administration (SSA) erred in its
decision. Page 70 and page 84 of the record are apparently
two identical print-outs of a query of a Social Security
database dated May 9, 2011
(“05/09/11”) and containing data regarding
Plaintiff's application for and receipt of Social
Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits.
(R. 70, 84). The portion of the print-out containing SSI data
states that Plaintiff applied for SSI on September 19, 1990
and suggests she was “ELIGIBLE: 09/1990.” (R. 70,
84). It provides a “PAYMENT STATUS CODE: T51 - PYMTS
NEVER MADE - TERMINATED EFFECTIVE 07/1992.”
Id. This evidence confirms the ALJ's finding
that Plaintiff never received SSI benefits but was given DIB
benefits. Therefore, Plaintiff's appeal must fail.
U.S.C. § 405(g) gives this court jurisdiction to review
final decisions of the SSA, but it does not provide
jurisdiction for the court in the same case to review alleged
errors by other persons or entities. Therefore, to the extent
Plaintiff argues she was aggrieved by actions of the Farmers
Insurance Group of Companies, Kansas Department of Human
Resources Division of Workers Compensation, or her Attorney,
Mr. Sheeley, those individuals or entities are not parties to
this action and her recourse lies elsewhere.
court notes that it is sympathetic to Plaintiff's claim
that she needs more income to meet her needs. Plaintiff's
application for SSI was terminated in 1992 and the record
shows no application for SSI currently pending before the
SSA. In the appropriate circumstances an individual who is
receiving retirement benefits may also qualify for SSI
benefits. Therefore, if Plaintiff believes she is eligible
for SSI benefits she may make a new application with the
Social Security Administration.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that judgment shall be entered
pursuant to the fourth sentence of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)