United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
Courtney Vick, Plaintiff, represented by James Gerard
Schulze, Baker Schulze Murphy & Patterson.
Security Administration, Defendant, represented by Stacey
Elise McCord, U.S. Attorney's Office & Una McGeehan,
Social Security Administration.
THOMAS RAY, Magistrate Judge.
following Recommended Disposition
("Recommendation") has been sent to United States
District Judge James M. Moody Jr. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Courtney Vick, applied for disability benefits on October 12,
2012, alleging a disability onset date of Ferbruary 16, 2012.
(Tr. at 16). After conducting a hearing, the Administrative
Law Judge ("ALJ") denied her application. (Tr. at
27). The Appeals Council denied Vick's request for
review. (Tr. at 1). The ALJ's decision now stands as the
final decision of the Commissioner, and Vick has requested
found that Vick had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the amended alleged onset date of October 10,
2012. (Tr. at 18). The ALJ found at Step Two that Vick had
the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease
and irritable bowel syndrome. Id. At Step Three, the
ALJ determined that Vick's impairments did not meet or
equal a listed impairment. (Tr. at 21). Before proceeding to
Step Four, the ALJ determined that Vick had the residual
functional capacity ("RFC") to perform light work
except for the following limitations: 1) lifting and carrying
20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; 2) standing
and walking up to 4 hours in an 8-hour workday; 3) sitting up
to 4 hours in an 8-hour workday; 4) occasionally climbing
stairs, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and
crawling, but never climbing ladders; 5) frequently reaching,
handling, fingering, and feeling, bilaterally; and 6) using
corrective lenses when necessary. Id. Next, the ALJ
found that Vick is capable of performing past relevant work
as a medical records clerk, pre-school teacher, and
phlebotomist. (Tr. at 25). The ALJ made an alternative
finding at Step Five. Evaluating testimony from the
Vocational Expert, she held that based on Vick's age,
education, work experience, and RFC, jobs existed in
significant numbers in the national economy that she could
perform. (Tr. at 26). Consequently, the ALJ found that Vick
was not disabled. (Tr. at 27).
Standard of Review
Court's function on review is to determine whether the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole and whether it is based on
legal error. Miller v. Colvin, 784 F.3d 472, 477
(8th Cir. 2015); see also 42 U.S.C. Â§ 405(g). While
"substantial evidence" is that which a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion,
"substantial evidence on the record as a whole"
requires a court to engage in a more scrutinizing analysis:
"[O]ur review is more than an examination of the record
for the existence of substantial evidence in support of the
Commissioner's decision; we also take into account
whatever in the record fairly detracts from that
decision." Reversal is not warranted, however,
"merely because substantial evidence would have
supported an opposite decision."
Reed v. Barnhart, 399 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2005)
not the task of this Court to review the evidence and make an
independent decision. Neither is it to reverse the decision
of the ALJ because there is evidence in the record which
contradicts his findings. The test is whether there is
substantial evidence in the record as a whole which supports
the decision of the ALJ. Miller, 784 F.3d at 477.
The Court has ...