Submitted September 22, 2015
Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Jonesboro.
For Bryce Mabry, Plaintiff - Appellant: Anthony W. Bartels, Attorney, Jonesboro, AR; Eugene Gregory Wallace, CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Raleigh, NC.
For Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant - Appellee: Jonathan Ryan Clark, Michael McGaughran, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Office of General Counsel Region VI, Dallas, TX; Stacey E. McCord, Assistant U.S. Attorney U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR.
Before WOLLMAN, COLLOTON, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.
KELLY, Circuit Judge.
Bryce Mabry appeals the magistrate judge's order affirming the denial of his applications for disability insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental security income (SSI), after a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). On appeal, Mabry argues that the ALJ's determination that his mental impairments only limit him to unskilled work is not supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm.
On March 22, 2011, Mabry filed applications for both DIB and SSI, claiming he was unable to work due to a combination of impairments including paranoid schizophrenia, depression, anxiety with panic attacks, and morbid obesity. Mabry graduated from high school and attended one semester of college, but dropped out due to depression and anxiety. He has worked as a cook in a bowling alley, a roofer/helper, a farm worker, and a preparation cook. He last worked in March 2011.
As support for his claim, Mabry presented extensive medical evidence showing that he was treated on a continuing basis from 2004 through 2012 at Mid-South Health Systems (Mid-South), the local mental health facility. The evidence demonstrated hospitalizations for psychotic or suicidal behavior in 2004, 2006 and 2007, treatment with several different anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety medications, and ongoing individual therapy. Medical reports indicated Mabry was making progress but on April 16, 2011, he went to the emergency room with complaints of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. He was diagnosed with suicidal thoughts, given anti-depression, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic medications, and released. Although the notes from Mabry's next two individual therapy sessions noted increased depression and suicidal ideation, by May 12, 2011, the notes showed continued progress, albeit at times " slight," and Mabry reported his medications seemed to help. Notes from December 15, 2011, indicated that he discussed job-seeking strategies with his therapist, and his medical records from 2012 showed he was doing better overall and reported no hallucinations, delusions, or suicidal ideation.
On June 6, 2011, at the request of the Social Security Administration, Mabry underwent a consultative examination with Dr. Samuel Hester. Dr. Hester diagnosed Mabry with schizoaffective disorder and morbid obesity. Dr. Hester stated that Mabry " is not likely to be able to cope with the typical mental demands of work-like tasks." Dr. Hester further concluded, however, that Mabry had the ...