United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.
Jan Gail Trampp ("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 application for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and a period of disability under Title II of the Act.
Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3) (2009), the Honorable P. K. Holmes, III referred this case to this Court for the purpose of making a report and recommendation. In accordance with that referral, and after reviewing the arguments in this case, this Court recommends Plaintiff's case be AFFIRMED.
Plaintiff protectively filed her disability application on July 25, 2012. (Tr. 8). In her application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to arthritis, emotional problems, anemia, anxiety, manic depression, numbness on her left side, left shoulder problems, left hip problems, and lower back problems. (Tr. 189). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of June 26, 2012. (Tr. 9). This application was denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 71-101).
Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her application. (Tr. 110). This hearing request was granted. (Tr. 121-143). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on April 22, 2013 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Tr. 24-69). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by Derick Allison. Id. Plaintiff, a witness for Plaintiff, and Vocational Expert ("VE") John Massey testified at this hearing. Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified she was forty-six (46) years old, which is defined as a "younger person" under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008). (Tr. 27). As for her education, Plaintiff testified she had a high school education and had completed approximately one year of college. (Tr. 27-28).
On June 21, 2013, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's application. (Tr. 6-19). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 11, Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity ("SGA") since June 26, 2012, her alleged onset date. (Tr. 11, Finding 2).
The ALJ found Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: mild osteoarthritis and mild degenerative disc disease affecting the lumbosacral spine, left knee arthralgia, hypertension, anemia without complications, obesity, a bipolar disorder and cyclothymic disorder, an anxiety disorder not otherwise specified, and a borderline personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder. (Tr. 11, Finding 3). Despite being severe, the ALJ determined those 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. 12-13, Finding 4).
In this decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 13-17, 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 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 light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except the claimant can only occasionally perform climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling in a work setting; her interpersonal contact in the work setting must be incidental to the work performed; the complexity of tasks must be able to be learned by rote repetition; the job must include few variables and require little use of judgment; and supervision must be simple, direct, and concrete.
The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work ("PRW"). (Tr. 17-18, Finding 6). Considering her RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff did not retain the capacity to perform any of her PRW. Id. The ALJ then determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 18-19, Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id. Specifically, the VE testified, given Plaintiff's age, education, work experience, and RFC, a hypothetical person with those limitations retained the capacity to perform the following occupations: (1) cook's helper or food preparation worker (light, unskilled) with 53, 000 such jobs in the national economy; and (2) housekeeper (light, unskilled) with 13, 000 such jobs in the national economy. Id.
Based upon the VE's testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. Id. Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this other work, the ALJ also determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from her alleged onset date of June 26, 2012 through the date of the ALJ's decision or through June 21, 2013. (Tr. 19, Finding 11).
Thereafter, Plaintiff requested the Appeals Council's review of the ALJ's unfavorable decision. (Tr. 4). On August 19, 2014, the Appeals Council denied this request for review. (Tr. 1-3). On September 10, 2014, Plaintiff filed the present appeal. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have ...