United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
DAVID R. BUDD, PLAINTIFF
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration, DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
R. Budd (“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 his 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. 6. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed his disability applications on October 8,
2009. (Tr. 11). In his applications, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to Hepatitis C, COPD, asthma, and a back
impairment. (Tr. 180). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of
January 1, 2006. (Tr. 11, 137, 144). These applications were
denied initially and again on reconsideration. (Tr. 74-77).
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied
applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr.
28-73). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on
February 15, 2011 in Harrison, Arkansas. Id.
Plaintiff was present and was represented by counsel, Rick
Spencer. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Dale Thomas testified at this hearing.
Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff testified he was
forty-five (45) years old, which is defined as a
“younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
416.963(c) (2008) (SSI) and 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c)
(2008) (DIB). (Tr. (Tr. 32). As for his education, Plaintiff
testified he had only completed the ninth grade in school.
ALJ's First Administrative Decision
this hearing, on August 30, 2011, the ALJ entered an
unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's applications.
(Tr. 8-23). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met the insured
status requirements of the Act through June 30, 2008. (Tr.
13, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged
in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since
January 1, 2006, his alleged onset date. (Tr. 13, Finding 2).
The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: degenerative disc disease of his lumbar spine,
osteoarthritis of his cervical spine with associated chronic
right shoulder pain, hepatitis C virus (HCV), asthma,
generalized anxiety disorder, and antisocial personality
disorder. (Tr. 13-15, 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. 15-16, Finding 4).
then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 16-21, Finding 5). First, the ALJ
evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and found his
claimed limitations were not entirely credible. Id.
Second, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the RFC to
perform the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except he can only
occasionally climb ramps and stairs, he can never climb
ladders, ropes and scaffolds, and he can only occasionally
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl. He cannot perform
overhead work with his right upper extremity, he can perform
frequent but not constant reaching and handing in all other
directions with his right upper extremity, and he must avoid
even moderate exposure to temperature extremes, wetness,
humidity, fumes, odors, dusts, gases and poor ventilation.
The claimant is further limited and can perform work where
interpersonal contact is incidental to the work performed,
the complexity of tasks is learned and performed by rote with
few variables and little judgment, and the supervision
required is simple, direct and concrete, and which does not
involve contact with the general public.
evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 21-22, Finding 6). The VE testified
at the administrative hearing regarding this issue.
Id. Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform his PRW as a
material handler. Id. Because Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform his PRW, the ALJ determined she had not
been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from January
1, 2006 through the date of his decision or through August
30, 2011. (Tr. 22, Finding 7).
Plaintiff requested the Appeal's Council's review of
this unfavorable disability determination. (Tr. 7). On
December 4, 2012, the Appeals Council denied this request for
review. (Tr. 1-3). Plaintiff appealed his case to this Court.
See Budd v. SSA, 3:13-cv-03008 (W.D. Ark. 2014) (ECF
No. 13). Upon review, this Court reversed and remanded
Plaintiff's case for further administrative review
because the ALJ failed to properly consider his medical
records. Id. Specifically, the Court admonished the
ALJ because he “summarily discounted Dr.
Honghiran's [Plaintiff's treating physician] finding
of chronic back pain.” (Tr. 21). On June 19, 2014, to
address this Court's concerns, the ALJ held a second
administrative hearing. (Tr. 667-724).
ALJ's Second ...