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Yandell v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division

May 29, 2015

JERRAD A. YANDELL, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

Jerrad A. Yandell ("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 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. 7.[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 his disability applications on April 19, 2011. (Tr. 24). In his applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to psychosis, schizophrenia, paranoia, and high blood pressure. (Tr. 174). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of December 19, 2010. (Tr. 24). Plaintiff's applications were denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 77-82).

Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr. 99-108). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on September 20, 2012 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Tr. 55-76). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by Laura McKinnon. Id. Plaintiff and a witness for Plaintiff testified at this hearing. Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff testified he thirty-two (32) years old, which 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. 58). As for his education, Plaintiff also testified he only completed the ninth grade in school and did not obtain his GED. (Tr. 58).

On June 14, 2013, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's disability applications. (Tr. 55-76). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through June 30, 2014. (Tr. 26, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity ("SGA") since December 19, 2010. (Tr. 26, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: psychotic disorder and substance abuse disorder. (Tr. 26, 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. 27-28, Finding 4).

In this decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and determined his Residual Functional Capacity ("RFC"). (Tr. 28-35, Finding 5). 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 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 a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the following nonexertional limitations: the claimant can understand, remember and carry out simple, routine repetitive tasks. He can respond to the usual work situations, routine work changes and supervision that is simple, direct and concrete. He can occasionally interact with supervisors, co-workers and the public.

Id.

The ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work ("PRW") and found Plaintiff was unable to perform any of his PRW. (Tr. 35, Finding 6). The ALJ then determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 36, Finding 10). To address this issue, the ALJ submitted post-hearing interrogatories to Vocational Expert ("VE") Jim Spragins. (Tr. 270-277).

Based upon the VE's responses, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following occupations:

1. Small products assembler with 1, 320 such jobs in Arkansas and 67, 000 such jobs in the nation;
2. Small products inspector with 750 such jobs in Arkansas and 45, 000 such ...

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