United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
BARRY A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Fason (“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”) and Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”) under Titles II and XVI of 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. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed her disability applications on June 29,
2010. (Tr. 12). In these applications, Plaintiff alleges
being disabled due to scoliosis of the spine, fibromyalgia,
and back problems. (Tr. 157). These applications were denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 72-75).
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her denied
applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr.
28-71, 90-97). This hearing was held on December 7, 2011 in
Hot Springs, Arkansas. Id. At this hearing,
Plaintiff was present and was represented by counsel, Sherri
McDonough. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Mack Welch testified at this hearing.
Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified she was
thirty-two (32) years old, which is defined as a
“younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(c) and 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c). (Tr. 32). As for
her education level, Plaintiff obtained her GED and completed
two years of college. Id.
22, 2012, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered a
fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff’s
applications. (Tr. 9-24). The ALJ found Plaintiff met the
insured status requirements of the Act through December 31,
2009. (Tr. 14, Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not
engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”)
since February 1, 2005, her alleged onset date. (Tr. 14,
Finding 2). The ALJ found Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: levo-scoliosis (curvature of the spine) with
fibromyalgia. (Tr. 14, Finding 3). The ALJ also determined
Plaintiff’s impairment 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. 14-15, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff’s subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 15-22, 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 the full range of light work
as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b).
then evaluated Plaintiff’s Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 22-23, Finding 6). Specifically,
the ALJ found Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the
following occupations: (1) cashier II (light, unskilled); (2)
waitress (light, semi-skilled); and (3) hotel desk clerk
(light, semiskilled). Id. Based upon this finding,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability,
as defined by the Act, from her alleged onset date through
the date of the ALJ’s decision or through May 22, 2012.
(Tr. 23, Finding 7).
on July 17, 2012, Plaintiff requested the review of the
Appeals Council. (Tr. 5-6). On April 26, 2013, the Appeals
Council denied this request. (Tr. 1-3). Plaintiff then
appealed her case to U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Arkansas. (Tr. 388-395). Upon review of
Plaintiff’s case, this Court reversed and remanded
Plaintiff’s case for further review of her treating
physician’s findings. Id. After this remand,
the SSA then held a second administrative hearing in
Plaintiff’s case on February 10, 2015 in Hot Springs,
Arkansas. (Tr. 326-381). At this second hearing, Plaintiff
was again represented by Sherri McDonough. Id.
Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Mac Welch
testified at this hearing. Id.
this hearing, the ALJ again entered a fully unfavorable
decision. (Tr. 308-321). In this decision, the ALJ found
Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act
through December 31, 2009. (Tr. 313, Finding 1). The ALJ
found Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful
Activity (“SGA”) since February 1, 2005, her
alleged onset date. (Tr. 313, Finding 2). The ALJ found
Plaintiff had the following severe impairments:
nonprogressive scoliosis; discogenic disease at L1/2, L2/3,
and L3/4; bilateral hallux valgus deformities; and right
trochanteric bursitis. (Tr. 313-314, Finding 3). The ALJ also
again found Plaintiff’s impairments did not meet or
equal the requirements of the Listings. (Tr. 314-315, Finding
decision, the ALJ again evaluated Plaintiff’s
subjective complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 315-320,
Finding 5). First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff’s
subjective complaints and found her claimed limitations were
not entirely credible. Id. Second, ...