Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thompson v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division

July 12, 2016

JOYCE M. THOMPSON PLAINTIFF
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Joyce M. Thompson ("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 a period of disability, Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB"), and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") 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 her disability applications on May 15, 2013. (Tr. 32, 216-223). In her applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to dementia, hypertension, and V Willebrand disease. (Tr. 230). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of May 13, 2013. (Tr. 32). These applications were denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 157-175). Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her denied applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr. 176-177).

         Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on May 28, 2014. (Tr. 51-94). Plaintiff was present and was represented by counsel, Mary Thomason, at this hearing. Id. Plaintiff, her daughter Beverly Moore, and Vocational Expert ("VE") William Elmore testified at this hearing. Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff testified she was fifty-four (54) years old and graduated from high school. (Tr. 64, 225).

         After this hearing, on November 24, 2014, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's DIB and SSI applications. (Tr. 32-46). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 34, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity ("SGA") since May 13, 2013, her alleged onset date. (Tr. 34, Finding 2).

         The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: hypertension (uncontrolled), Von Willebrand's Disease (hemophilia), tremors, seizures, left renal mass, and dementia. (Tr. 34, Finding 3). However, the ALJ also determined 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. 39, Finding 4).

         In his decision, the ALJ indicated he evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity ("RFC"). (Tr. 40-44, 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 medium work with limitations of can occasionally stoop, crouch, crawl, bend, kneel, and balance; cannot operate a motor vehicle, work from ladders, ropes, and scaffolds, or work around unprotected moving machinery; and limited to work which is simple, routine repetitive in nature with supervision that is simple, direct, and concrete. (Tr. 40).

         The ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work ("PRW") and found Plaintiff unable to perform any PRW. (Tr. 44, Finding 6). The ALJ, however, also determined there was other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy Plaintiff could perform. (Tr. 45, Finding 10). The ALJ based this determination upon the testimony of the VE. Id. Specifically, the VE testified that given all Plaintiff's vocational factors, a hypothetical individual would be able to perform the requirements of a representative occupation such as hospital cleaner with 4, 000 such jobs in the state of Arkansas and 420, 000 such jobs in the nation and packager with 1, 600 such jobs in the state of Arkansas and 140, 000 such jobs in the nation. Id. Based upon this finding, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability as defined by the Act from May 13, 2013, through the date of the decision. (Tr. 46, Finding 11).

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested the Appeals Council's review of the ALJ's unfavorable decision. (Tr. 6). On July 29, 2015, the Appeals Council denied this request for review. (Tr. 1-4). Plaintiff then filed the present appeal on August 13, 2015. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on August 17, 2015. ECF No. 7. This case is now ready for decision.

         2. Applicable Law:

         In reviewing this case, this Court is required to determine whether the Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2006); Ramirez v. Barnhart, 292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial evidence is less than a preponderance of the evidence, but it is enough that a reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the Commissioner's decision. See Johnson v. Apfel, 240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). As long as there is substantial evidence in the record that supports the Commissioner's decision, the Court may not reverse it simply because substantial evidence exists in the record that would have supported a contrary outcome or because the Court would have decided the case differently. See Haley v. Massanari, 258 F.3d 742, 747 (8th Cir. 2001). If, after reviewing the record, it is possible to draw two inconsistent positions from the evidence and one of those positions represents the findings of the ALJ, the decision of the ALJ must be affirmed. See Young v. Apfel, 221 F.3d 1065, 1068 (8th Cir. 2000).

         It is well-established that a claimant for Social Security disability benefits has the burden of proving his or her disability by establishing a physical or mental disability that lasted at least one year and that prevents him or her from engaging in any substantial gainful activity. See Cox v. Apfel, 160 F.3d 1203, 1206 (8th Cir. 1998); 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(1)(A), 1382c(a)(3)(A). The Act defines a "physical or mental impairment" as "an impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques." 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(3), 1382(3)(c). A ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.