United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Mae Grantt (“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.
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 for DIB on
November 28, 2012, and for SSI on January 10, 2013. (Tr. 7).
In her applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to
migraine headaches, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure,
carpel tunnel syndrome, and H. Pylori virus. (Tr. 215).
Plaintiff alleges an onset date of November 16, 2012. (Tr.
211). These applications were denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 114, 125).
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her denied
applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr. 130,
140). Plaintiff’s administrative hearing was held on
February 10, 2014 in El Dorado, Arkansas. (Tr. 27-63).
Plaintiff was present and was represented by James Reid.
Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Donna Humphries testified at this hearing.
Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff testified she was
sixty (60) years old, which is defined as a “person of
advanced age” under 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(e) (SSI)
and 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(e) (DIB). (Tr. 32). As for her
level of education, Plaintiff reported she completed four (4)
or more years of college and is a Licensed Practical Nurse
(LPN). (Tr. 216).
this hearing, on August 25, 2014, the ALJ entered an
unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff’s applications
for DIB and SSI. (Tr. 7-21). In this decision, the ALJ found
Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act
through December 31, 2017. (Tr. 12, Finding 1). The ALJ found
Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since November 16, 2012, her alleged
onset date. (Tr. 12, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had the following severe impairments: diabetes mellitus,
lumbar spinal stenosis, peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel
syndrome, migraine headaches, and hypertension. (Tr. 12-13,
Finding 3). Despite being severe, the ALJ determined these
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.
14-15, Finding 4).
then considered Plaintiff’s Residual Functional
Capacity (“RFC”). (Tr. 15-19, 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:
sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. 404.1567(a) and
416.967(a) except that she requires being able to sit for six
hours, with an opportunity to stand every one or two hours in
an eight-hour workday. The claimant can occasionally climb,
stoop, crouch, kneel, or crawl, and can perform frequent
reaching and handling.
then evaluated Plaintiff’s Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 19, Finding 6). The VE testified at
the administrative hearing regarding this issue. (Tr. 44-45).
Based upon the testimony and considering Plaintiff’s
RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff was unable to perform any
past relevant work. (Tr. 19, Finding 6). Based on
Plaintiff’s age, education, work experience, and RFC,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff acquired work skills from past
relevant work that are transferable to other occupations with
jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy,
such as a triage or telephonic nurse, which has a DOT code of
205.162-010, and is sedentary work with an SVP of seven (7)
with one hundred seventy-five thousand (175, 000) jobs in the
national economy, and one thousand three hundred (1, 300)
jobs in Arkansas. Because jobs exist in significant numbers
in the national economy which Plaintiff can perform, the ALJ
also determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as
defined by the Act, from November 16, 2012 through the date
of his decision. (Tr. 21, Finding 11).
September 5, 2014, Plaintiff requested a review by the
Appeals Council. (Tr. 5-6). The Appeals Council denied this
request on September 9, 2015. (Tr. 1-4). On November 4, 2015,
Plaintiff filed the present appeal with this Court. (ECF No.
1). The Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court
on November 19, 2015. (ECF No. 7). This case is now ready for
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 ...