United States District Court, Western District of Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
HON. BARRY A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Johnny McClure (“Plaintiff”) brings this action pursuant to § 205(g) of Title II of the Social Security Act (“The Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010), seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denying his application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act.
The Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case, including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF No. 5. Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.
Plaintiff filed his disability application on July 24, 2012. (Tr. 12). In his application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to a back injury, sleep apnea, a “spastic colon, ” and high blood pressure. (Tr. 148). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of June 28, 2012. Id. This application was denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 39-49).
Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied application, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr. 66-79). On May 15, 2013, the ALJ held an administrative hearing to address Plaintiff’s application. (Tr. 21-38). This hearing was held in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Id. Plaintiff was present at this hearing and was represented by counsel, Aaron Martin. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) John Massey testified at this hearing. Id.
After this hearing, on June 4, 2013, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff’s application for SSI. (Tr. 12-20). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 14, Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since June 29, 2012, his alleged onset date. (Tr. 14, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: disorders of the back and obesity. (Tr. 14-15, Finding 3). However, the ALJ also determined Plaintiff’s impairments did not meet or medically equal the requirements of any of the Listings of Impairments in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Regulations No. 4 (“Listings”). (Tr. 15, Finding 4). In his opinion, the ALJ made no findings regarding Plaintiff’s age or education.
In this decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff’s subjective complaints and determined his RFC. (Tr. 7-20). First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff’s subjective complaints and found his claimed limitations were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the RFC to perform the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a).
Id. The “full range of sedentary work” includes the following:
(a) Sedentary work. Sedentary work involves lifting no more than 10 pounds at a time and occasionally lifting or carrying articles like docket files, ledgers, and small tools. Although a sedentary job is defined as one which involves sitting, a certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary in carrying out job duties. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a) (2012).
The ALJ evaluated Plaintiff’s Past Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 19-20, Finding 6). The VE testified at the administrative hearing on this issue. Id. Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff’s PRW included work as a production worker on an assembly line (light, unskilled as generally performed and sedentary, unskilled as actually performed). Id. The ALJ also found Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this PRW. Id. Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform his PRW, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from July 24, 2012 through the date of his decision. (Tr. 20, Finding 7).
Thereafter, Plaintiff requested the Appeals Council’s review of the ALJ’s unfavorable decision. (Tr. 5-6). On March 4, 2014, the Appeals Council denied this request for review. (Tr. 1-3). Plaintiff then filed the present appeal on April 3, 2014. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the ...