LAY, Chief Judge.
Hubert Brand was denied social security benefits by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. On appeal to the district court, the Secretary's motion for summary judgment was granted on the basis that there was substantial evidence on the record as a whole to support the Secretary's finding that Brand was not entitled to disability payments under relevant provisions of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 416(i), 423. This appeal followed. We affirm the denial of benefits on the basis of Judge Eisele's thorough opinion. Nonetheless, because the Secretary misinterprets some of our earlier decisions, we write for clarification.
The claimant is 57 years of age, has a 7th grade education and has worked most of his life as a self-employed farmer. The record shows he has worked part-time as a carpenter and painter. At his hearing on May 10, 1977, Brand testified that he had been driving a tractor two or three days out of a week and that since 1974 he had made approximately $400 or $500 a year painting and driving a tractor. He also stated he had worked in his garden "some." Brand had to quit sharecropping in 1974 because of his health. His basic complaints relate to his heart, liver, and back. He stated he had experienced some fainting spells recently, cramping pain on his right side, and pain in his chest. He testified he drank light beer and two glasses of wine each day. His wife verified he had been drinking for seven or eight years. Acquaintances of Mr. Brand testified that he was a moderate drinker.
A vocational expert testified that if claimant had constant pain after exercise he could not engage in any gainful activity. On the other hand, he testified that there would be a wide range of jobs, including painting and farming, if Brand possessed the physical capacities and general capabilities set out in the report of a consulting physician, Dr. Haimsohn. Dr. Haimsohn is a cardiologist who examined claimant in May 1977, for complaints of chest pain and numbness in his arms and legs. As Judge Eisele found:
On appeal claimant asserts that the Secretary's holding ignores our prior decisions, see, e. g., Northcutt v. Califano, 581 F.2d 164 (8th Cir. 1978), in that the administrative law judge (ALJ) in relying on Dr. Haimsohn's examination overlooked claimant's subjective complaints of pain (as corroborated by his wife). The Secretary, on the other hand, urges that Northcutt and cases from this and other circuits which hold that pain may be disabling even though there exists no objective corroboration of it are contrary to the Act and the Secretary's regulations. We disagree with both analyses.
First, it is clear that the ALJ did not ignore the claimant's subjective complaints. As the ALJ found:
The ALJ similarly found:
Second, it is clear from claimant's own testimony concerning his work record that, notwithstanding his complaints, he has been able to do moderate work, including painting and driving a tractor. We conclude that claimant has not shown that he was unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity.
In sustaining the district court's denial of relief, we do not, however, endorse the Secretary's argument that subjective pain need not be evaluated unless corroborated by objective medical findings. In Northcutt v. Califano, 581 F.2d 164, 166 (8th Cir. 1978) this court observed:
The Secretary argues that this language in Northcutt ignores the amendment to the Social Security Act made in 1968, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 423(d) which reads:
This argument overlooks the language of Northcutt which says:
Northcutt v. Califano, 581 F.2d 164, 166 (8th Cir. 1978) (emphasis added) (footnote omitted).
Other Circuit Courts of Appeal uniformly acknowledge that although there must be a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, there need not necessarily be objective evidence to support such findings.
Most injuries or illnesses produce physiological or functional consequences and depending upon the physical makeup of the person involved, the level of pain experienced may or may not produce a disabling injury. In Landess v. Weinberger, 490 F.2d 1187 (8th Cir. 1974), we wrote:
Id. at 1190.
Standard for Review.
Simply because there exists conflicting evidence on the record does not mean that the district court or this court should serve as a rubber stamp for the Secretary's decisions. Universal Camera Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 71 S.Ct. 456, 95 L.Ed. 456 (1951) still remains the guideline for evaluation of this standard. On appellate review, our duty, as is the district court's, is to evaluate all of the evidence on the record. In order to sustain the Secretary's decision there must exist substantial evidence appearing on the record as a whole. This standard of review is more than a search for the existence of substantial evidence supporting the Secretary's findings. See Universal Camera Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 484-85, 71 S.Ct. 456, 462-63, 71 L.Ed. 456 (1951). As Justice Frankfurter made clear "the substantiality of evidence must take into account whatever in the record fairly detracts from its weight." Id. at 488, 71 S.Ct. at 464.
In social security cases reviewing courts are generally guided by the following factors:
(1) Findings of credibility made by the ALJ;
(2) The education, background, work history, and age of the claimant;
(3) The medical evidence given by the claimant's treating physicians;
(4) The subjective complaints of pain and description of the claimant's physical activity and impairment;
(5) The corroboration by third parties of the claimant's physical impairment;
(6) The testimony of vocational experts based upon proper hypothetical questions which fairly set forth the claimant's physical impairment;
(7) The testimony of consulting physicians.
In the present case although there exists some medical evidence that claimant suffers from some physical impairment, there exists only one conclusory statement by a treating chiropractor that claimant has substantial disability. There is no clinical finding which contradicts Dr. Haimsohn's finding of no organic abnormalities to
Brand v. Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare, Civil Action No. J-76-C-138 (E.D.Ark., filed July 12, 1979).
Id. at 1286-87.
Universal Camera Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 488, 71 S.Ct. 456, 465, 95 L.Ed. 456 (1951).