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Pearson v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division

April 23, 2015

KIMBERLY A. PEARSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

Kimberly A. Pearson ("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 her applications for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"), Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB"), and a period of disability under Titles II and 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. 8.[1] Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.

1. Background:

Plaintiff protectively filed her disability applications on January 12, 2012. (Tr. 15, 170-180). In her applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to severe migraines, muscle pain and weakness, memory loss, numbness in her left arm, depression, and stress. (Tr. 212). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of January 15, 2011. (Tr. 15). Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 65-68).

Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr. 86-97). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on April 30, 2013 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Tr. 30-64). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by Frederick Spencer. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert ("VE") John Massey testified at the hearing in this matter. Id.

On July 15, 2013, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's disability applications. (Tr. 11-24). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through March 31, 2016. (Tr. 17, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity ("SGA") since January 15, 2011, her amended alleged onset date. (Tr. 17, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: musculoskeletal disorder (chronic back pain) and mental disorder (mood disorder, depression). (Tr. 17-18, Finding 3). The ALJ also determined, however, that 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. 18-19, Finding 4).

The ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's age and level of education in his opinion. As for her age, the ALJ determined Plaintiff was forty-three (43) years old on her alleged disability onset date. (Tr. 23, Finding 7). Such an individual is defined as a "younger person" under 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c) (2008) (SSI) and under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008) (DIB). (Tr. 23, Finding 7). As for her education, the ALJ found it was "limited, but she did obtain her GED certification. (Tr. 23, Finding 8).

In this decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity ("RFC"). (Tr. 19-22, Finding 5). First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and found her claimed limitations were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following:

After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except as follows: The claimant is able to frequently lift and/or carry ten pounds and occasionally twenty pounds, push and/or pull within the limitations of lifting and carrying, sit for a total of six hours in an eight hour workday, and stand and/or walk for a total of six hours in an eight hour workday, with normal breaks. The claimant can frequently operate foot controls with her lower extremity. The claimant is limited to work where the complexity of tasks is learned by rote and the supervision is simple, direct, and concrete.

Id.

The ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work ("PRW") and found Plaintiff was unable to perform any of her PRW. (Tr. 22-23, Finding 6). The ALJ then determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 23-24). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id. Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following: (1) maid, housekeeper (light, unskilled) with 130, 000 such jobs in the United States and 1, 000 such jobs in Arkansas; (2) routing clerk (light, unskilled) with 42, 500 such jobs in the United States and 340 such jobs in Arkansas; and (3) power screwdriver operator (light, unskilled) with 59, 800 such jobs in the United States and 485 such jobs in Arkansas. Id. Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this other work, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from January 15, 2011 through the date of his decision or through July 15, 2013. (Tr. 24, Finding 11).

Thereafter, Plaintiff requested the review of the Appeals Council. (Tr. 10). The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (Tr. 1-4). On June 2, 2014, Plaintiff filed her Complaint in this matter. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on June 10, 2014. ECF No. 8. Both ...


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