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Huskey v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division

August 21, 2014

WESLEY HUSKEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOE J. VOLPE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Wesley Huskey, appeals the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the "Commissioner") denying his claims for disability insurance benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act (the "Act") and for supplemental security income ("SSI") benefits under Title XVI of the Act. For reasons set out below, the decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED.

I. BACKGROUND

On December 1, 2010, Mr. Huskey protectively filed for DIB and SSI benefits due to a heart condition, depression, high blood pressure, and dizziness. (Tr. 143) His claims were denied initially and upon reconsideration. At Mr. Huskey's request, an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") held a hearing on August 8, 2012 where Mr. Huskey appeared with his lawyer. (Tr. 28) At the hearing, the ALJ heard testimony from Mr. Huskey and a vocational expert ("VE"). (Tr. 29-52)

The ALJ issued a decision on August 28, 2012, finding that Mr. Huskey was not disabled under the Act. (Tr. 11-22) The Appeals Council denied Mr. Huskey's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision. (Tr. 1-3)

Mr. Huskey, who was forty-five years old at the time of the hearing, has a sixth grade education. (Tr. 32-33) He has past relevant work experience as a maintenance machine repairer. (Tr. 48)

II. DECISION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE[1]

The ALJ found that Mr. Huskey had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 6, 2010, and he had the following severe impairments: peripheral vascular disease and coronary artery disease. (Tr. 13) However, the ALJ found that Mr. Huskey did not have an impairment or combination of impairments meeting or equaling an impairment listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.[2] (Tr. 14)

According to the ALJ, Mr. Huskey has the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to do sedentary work, except that he could only occasionally climb ladders, scaffolds, ramps or stairs, and only occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. He also was limited to employment where reading at the fourth grade level is sufficient. (Tr. 14) The VE testified that the jobs available with these limitations were fishing reel assembler and inspecting work. (Tr. 50)

After considering the VE's testimony, the ALJ determined that Mr. Huskey could perform a significant number of other jobs existing in the national economy, and found that Mr. Huskey was not disabled.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Standard of Review

In reviewing the Commissioner's decision, this Court must determine whether there is substantial evidence in the record as a whole to support the decision.[3] Substantial evidence is "less than a preponderance, but sufficient for reasonable minds to find it adequate to support the decision."[4]

In reviewing the record as a whole, the Court must consider both evidence that detracts from the Commissioner's decision and evidence that supports the decision; but, the decision cannot be reversed, "simply ...


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