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.

Hughes v. Colvin

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

December 15, 2016

KATRINA M. HUGHES PLAINTIFF
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

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

         Katrina M. Hughes (“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 application for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”).

         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. 5.[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 application on August 8, 2011. (Tr. 10). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to an anxiety disorder, a back condition, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. (Tr. 278). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of June 21, 2011. (Tr. 10). This application was denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 126-149).

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her denied application. (Tr. 173- 174). This hearing request was granted, and Plaintiff's first administrative hearing was held on April 20, 2011. (Tr. 83-100). This hearing was held in Morgantown, West Virginia. Id. Thereafter, the SSA held a second administrative hearing on November 26, 2013 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Tr. 30-82). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by Susan E. Brockett. Id. Plaintiff, a witness for Plaintiff, and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Monte Lumpkin testified at this hearing. Id.

         On September 5, 2014, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's application. (Tr. 7-24). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since August 8, 2011, her application date. (Tr. 12, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: mild degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, obesity, migraines, history of seizures and syncope, interstitial cystitis, bipolar disorder and mood disorder (not otherwise specified), anxiety disorder (not otherwise specified), PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and polysubstance dependence. (Tr. 12, Finding 2). 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. 12-15, Finding 3).

         In this decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 15-22, Finding 4). 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 capacity to perform a wide range of light work:

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 416.967(b) except she can only occasionally climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl, and she must avoid concentrated exposure to hazards, including no driving as part of work. Further, she can perform simple, routine, repetitive tasks in an environment with incidental interpersonal contact with coworkers and supervisors, no contact with the general public, and simple, direct and concrete supervision.

Id.

         The ALJ found Plaintiff had a limited education and was able to communicate in English. (Tr. 23, Finding 7). The ALJ also found Plaintiff was thirty-one (31) years old, which is defined as a “younger person” under 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c). (Tr. 22, Finding 6). The ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work (“PRW”) and found Plaintiff was unable to perform any of her PRW. (Tr. 22, Finding 5). The ALJ then determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 23, Finding 9). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.

         Considering Plaintiff's RFC and other limitations, the ALJ determined a hypothetical person with those limitations retains the capacity to perform occupations such as the following: (1) production helper (light, unskilled) with representative occupations including laundry folder and fabric layout worker with 2, 241 such jobs in Arkansas and 87, 246 such jobs in the national economy; and (2) food processor (light, unskilled) with representative occupations including conveyor bakery line worker and spice mixer with 581 such jobs in Arkansas and 9, 042 such jobs in the national economy. (Tr. 23, Finding 9). Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform these jobs, she retained the capacity to perform other work. Accordingly, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from August 8, 2011 (her application date) through September 5, 2014 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 24, Finding 10).

         Plaintiff sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 5). Thereafter, on October 2, 2015, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (Tr. 1-3). On October 26, 2015, Plaintiff filed her Complaint in this case. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs and have consented to the jurisdiction of this Court. ECF Nos. 12, 14. This case is now ready for decision.

         2.Applicable ...


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.