physicians, however, have not stated that Edwards is physically precluded from performing occupational duties. In a 1994 examination, Drs. William J. Tevlin and David M. Myers, for example, found that Edwards would be able to work, but only at a reduced performance level. Similarly, Dr. Eleby R. Washington, in a 1994 examination, stated that there was no objective evidence of lumbosacral disability and did not mention that Edwards would be limited occupationally. Moreover, Dr. Samuel L. Pollock, in September of 1995, diagnosed several ailments but did not state that plaintiff would be unable to work.
In reviewing the evidence, the ALJ properly evaluated all of the medical evidence in the record. The ALJ does have discretion to accord less weight to particular reports by doctors who prepare many disability claims reports which are very similar in each case. Williams v. Sullivan, 970 F.2d 1178, 1185 n.5 (3d Cir. 1992), cert. denied, Williams v. Shalala, 507 U.S. 924, 122 L. Ed. 2d 685, 113 S. Ct. 1294 (1993). The record reveals that Dr. Pollock and Dr. I. Ahmad have indeed submitted disability claims reports before and that their reports for Edwards are very similar to past reports. Thus, there is substantial evidence supporting the ALJ's decision to grant less weight to these medical reports in evaluating the evidentiary record.
Moreover, there is substantial evidence that supports the ALJ's ruling that plaintiff does not suffer from a significant nonexertional impairment. At the November 9, 1995 hearing, Edwards testified that he worked for one week in October of 1994 for Comsec Security. He also stated that he had to "catch public transportation" in traveling to and from work. In addition, Edwards testified that he worked on and off for Comsec for two years. Moreover, plaintiff testified that he worked for two weeks in March of 1995. Edwards also testified that he does some cooking and cleaning and walks around the house or block to get exercise.
The plaintiff further claims that the ALJ did not consider certain eye problems as a nonexertional limitation. The medical record, however, is practically bereft of any mention of an eye impairment.
This evidence substantiates the ALJ's finding that Edwards does not have a significant nonexertional limitation. The ALJ, therefore, properly used the Medical-Vocational grids approved by the Third Circuit to determine that the plaintiff has the residual functional capacity to perform jobs that exist in the national economy. See Santise v. Schweiker, 676 F.2d 925 (3d Cir. 1982) (vocational grids may be used when no significant nonexertional impairments are established).
The plaintiff also claims that the ALJ did not consider the plaintiff's subjective complaints of pain. In considering subjective complaints of pain, the ALJ has discretion in evaluating the credibility of a claimant. Brown v. Schweiker, 562 F. Supp. 284, 287 (E.D. Pa. 1983) (citing Bolton v. Secretary of HHS, 504 F. Supp. 288 (E.D.N.Y 1980)). Accordingly, the ALJ must view the complaints in light of the medical evidence in the record. Id. There must be objective medical evidence that supports the claimant's complaints of pain. In this case, the ALJ did not dismiss the plaintiff's subjective complaints of pain. Rather, the ALJ properly evaluated these complaints of pain in conjunction with the objective medical evidence. It was totally in the ALJ's discretion to grant less weight to subjective complaints of pain when such evidence conflicted with the objective medical evidence. Id.
As the medical records indicate, Drs. Tevlin, Myers, Pollock and Washington reported that Edwards's gait and stance were normal. In addition, Dr. Washington concluded that there was no objective evidence of lumbosacral disability even though there was pain in the lumbosacral area. Although there was some evidence of back discomfort and exertional limitations, the record lacked evidence of any serious physical deficits, and plaintiff testified that he could lift certain objects and sit and stand for fairly long periods of time. The ALJ, therefore, properly evaluated the plaintiff's subjective complaints in according less weight to such complaints.
Plaintiff additionally contends that the ALJ based his ruling on an impermissible racial bias against plaintiff. In alleging such unconstitutional discrimination, the plaintiff submits a prolix history lesson in the American colonial slave trade. As evidence of such bias, the plaintiff points to the fact that the ALJ had the opportunity to observe that the plaintiff is African-American. The mere fact that the ALJ had the opportunity to observe the plaintiff and note his race, however, does not prove the ALJ was motivated by racial bias. Moreover, the ALJ has discretion, as the trier of fact, to weigh all evidence and resolve material conflicts in the evidence. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 399, 28 L. Ed. 2d 842, 91 S. Ct. 1420 (1971). Plaintiff, therefore, has failed to provide any evidence tending to show that the ALJ ruled based on a constitutionally impermissible racial motivation. Accordingly, this Court concludes that plaintiff's allegation of racial bias is completely without merit.
For the foregoing reasons, and on the basis of the record as a whole, this Court finds that the Commissioner's determination that plaintiff is not entitled to disability insurance benefits or SSI under the Social Security Act is supported by substantial evidence and is hereby AFFIRMED.
An appropriate Order accompanies this Letter Opinion.
NICHOLAS H. POLITAN
THIS MATTER having come before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Michael Edwards to overturn the final determination of the Commissioner of Social Security denying plaintiff's claim for disability insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income; and the Court having considered the matter without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78; and for reasons appearing more particularly in the Letter Opinion of this Court in the above-captioned matter; and for good cause having been shown,
IT IS on this 8th day of January, 1998,
ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to overturn the Commissioner of Social Security's final determination be and the same hereby is DENIED.
NICHOLAS H. POLITAN