By Taylor Ey

Last Friday, February 13, the Fourth Circuit issued its unpublished opinion in the civil case Watson v. Colvin.

History of the Case

Mr. Watson was seeking disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income, but acting Social Security Commissioner Colvin (“the Commissioner”) denied his claim.  Mr. Watson sought review of the Commissioner’s determination before a magistrate judge in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore.  The magistrate judge upheld the Commissioner’s decision, and Mr. Watson sought review before the Fourth Circuit.

The Commissioner’s Determination Is Reviewed Under a Substantial Evidence Standard

The Fourth Circuit reviewed the record to determine whether the Commissioner’s findings were supported by substantial evidence.  Under this standard, the Fourth Circuit was not permitted to reweigh the evidence or make credibility determinations.  Even where reasonable minds could differ, the court deferred to the Commissioner’s determination.

The Fourth Circuit Affirmed the Lower Court’s Decision