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.

Stewart-Seamster v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division

November 21, 2016

VICKI STEWART-SEAMSTER PLAINTIFF
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. MARK E. FORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Vicki Stewart-Seamster (“Plaintiff”) brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) seeking judicial review of a decision of the Commissioner of Social Security Administration (“Commissioner) denying her claim for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act (“the Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). In this judicial review, the Court must determine whether there is substantial evidence in the administrative record to support the Commissioner's decision. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         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. 6)[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 filed her disability application for DIB on June 28, 2010. (ECF No. 13, p. 666-668) Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to depression, anxiety, right wrist and shoulder problems, left foot problems, and heart problems. (ECF No. 13, p. 729) Her application was denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (ECF No. 13, p. 539)

         Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held on June 9, 2011. (ECF No. 13, p. 481-507) On August 30, 2011, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”), Hon. Edward M. Starr, entered an unfavorable decision denying the Plaintiff's application for DIB. (ECF No. 13, pp. 536-46) Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council, which subsequently vacated the hearing decision on April 19, 2013, and remanded the case for further development of the record because the hearing recording was partially inaudible and the medical evidence on the record was insufficient to comply with regulatory standards. (ECF No. 13, pp. 550-52)

         Thereafter, another administrative hearing was held on August 15, 2013 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (ECF No. 13, pp. 508-33) Plaintiff was present and was represented by counsel, David Harp. Id. The Plaintiff and a Vocational Expert (“VE”), Montie Lumpkin, testified at this hearing. Id. During the hearing, Plaintiff's counsel amended the alleged onset date to January 1, 2011. (ECF No. 13, p. 515) Plaintiff testified she was fifty-three (53) years old, which is defined as a “person closely approaching advanced age” under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(d). (ECF No. 13, p. 511) Concerning education, Plaintiff previously testified at her first administrative hearing that she nearly completed an associate's degree. (ECF No. 13, p. 484)

         On January 28, 2014, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying the Plaintiff's application for DIB. (ECF No. 13, pp. 460-75) In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through June 30, 2013. (ECF No. 13, p. 466, Finding 1) The ALJ found the Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity (“SGA”) during the period from her original alleged onset date of April 15, 2010 through her date last insured on June 30, 2013. (ECF No. 13, p. 466, Finding 2) The ALJ determined the Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: musculoskeletal disorder (osteoarthritis), cardiovascular disorder (hypertension), obesity, and mental disorders (affective disorders, depression and anxiety). (ECF No. 13, pp. 466-67, Finding 3) The ALJ determined these impairments did not meet or medically equal the requirements of any of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (the “Listings”). (ECF No. 13, pp. 467-68, Finding 4)

         The ALJ then considered Plaintiff's residual functional capacity (“RFC”). (ECF No. 13, pp. 464-73, Finding 5). First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and found her claimed limitations were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ determined the Plaintiff retained the RFC to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b) except as follows:

The claimant is able to frequently lift and/or carry ten pounds and occasionally twenty pounds, sit for a total of six hours in an eight hour workday, and stand and/or walk for a total of six hours in an eight hour workday. The claimant cannot climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. The claimant can occasionally climb ramps or stairs, balance, crawl, kneel, stoop, or crouch. The claimant can perform work consisting of simple, routine, and repetitive tasks with incidental contact with others and supervision that is simple, direct, and concrete.

Id.

         The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's past relevant work (“PRW”). (ECF No. 13, p. 473, Finding 6). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. (ECF No. 13, pp. 528-32) Considering Plaintiff's RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff was unable to perform any past relevant work. (ECF No. 13, p. 473, Finding 6). Based on Plaintiff's age, education, work experience, and her RFC, the ALJ determined there were jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy the Plaintiff could perform, such as: a cutting/slicing machine tender, which has representative DOT codes of 976.685-010 and 640.6685-30, with approximately 24, 858 jobs in the national economy, and approximately 321 jobs in the state of Arkansas; as a production helper, which has representative DOT codes of 589.687-022 and 789.687-166, with approximately 87, 246 jobs in the national economy, and approximately 2, 241 jobs in the state of Arkansas; and, as a sorter and weigher, which has representative DOT codes of 222.387-074 and 788.687-016, with approximately 129, 275 jobs in the national economy, and approximately 1, 550 jobs in the state of Arkansas. (ECF No. 13, pp. 474-75) Because jobs exist in significant numbers in the national economy which Plaintiff can perform, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from Plaintiff's original alleged onset date of April 15, 2010, through Plaintiff's date last insured on June 30, 2013. (ECF No. 13, p. 470, Finding 11)

         On February 6, 2014, the Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council. (ECF No. 13, pp. 458-59) The Appeals Council denied this request on September, 2015. (ECF No. 13, pp. 6-14) Plaintiff then filed the present action with this Court on October 14, 2015. (ECF No. 1) The Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on October 22, 2015. (ECF No. 6)

         On October 28, 2016, oral argument was held before the undersigned wherein the Plaintiff's attorney, David Harp, appeared in person on behalf of the Plaintiff, and attorney, Stuart Cox, appeared via telephone on behalf of the Commissioner. (ECF No. 14) Based on the briefs of the parties and the arguments presented at oral argument, this Court took the case ...


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.