United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
ERIN L. SETSER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Jerry Robinson, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of a decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner) denying his claims for a period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) under the provisions
of Title II of the Social Security Act (Act). 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.
protectively filed his current application for DIB on March
23, 2013, alleging an inability to work since September 7,
2012, due to anxiety, depression, diabetes, Hepatitis C,
hypertension, and anal bleeding. (Doc. 12, p. 23, 67, 145).
An administrative video hearing was held on July 22, 2014, at
which Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified. (Doc.
12, pp. 33-67).
written decision dated November 7, 2014, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had an impairment
or combination of impairments that were severe. (Doc. 12, p.
19). Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: a musculoskeletal disorder
(osteoarthritis and associated disorder, degenerative joint
disease), a digestive disorder (chronic liver disease,
hepatitis C), an endocrine disorder (diabetes mellitus), a
cardiovascular disorder (hypertension), and obesity. (Doc.
12, p. 19). However, after reviewing all of the evidence
presented, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff's
impairments did not meet or equal the level of severity of
any impairment listed in the Listing of Impairments found in
Appendix I, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4. (Doc. 12, p. 22).
The ALJ found Plaintiff retained the residual functional
capacity (RFC) to:
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except as
following (sic): The claimant can 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 can occasionally climb ramps or stars (sic),
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. The claimant can
occasionally climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds.
(Doc. 12, p. 22). With the help of a vocational expert, the
ALJ determined Plaintiff could perform work as a file clerk,
a bill collector, and a household appliance assembler. (Doc.
12, p. 27).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which after reviewing additional evidence
submitted by Plaintiff, denied that request on July 24, 2015.
(Doc. 12, pp. 5-10). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this
action. (Doc. 1). Both parties have filed appeal briefs, and
the case is before the undersigned for report and
recommendation. (Docs. 9, 11).
Court has reviewed the entire transcript. The complete set of
facts and arguments are presented in the parties' briefs,
and are repeated here only to the extent necessary.
time of the administrative video hearing on July 22, 2014,
Plaintiff was fifty-two years of age and had obtained an
eleventh grade formal education. (Doc. 12, p. 39). Plaintiff
testified that he had earned his GED, and had attended
Vo-tech classes. (Doc. 12, pp. 39-40).
pertinent medical evidence in this case reflects the
following. On September 27, 2012, Plaintiff was seen by Dr.
John A. Huskins for a follow up appointment. (Doc. 12, p.
282). Dr. Huskins noted Plaintiff had multiple medical
problems which included elevated lipids, elevated liver
function tests, and elevated blood sugar in the past.
Plaintiff was noted to have chronic neck and back pain. Dr.
Huskins discussed his medical problems and work up and
October 17, 2012, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Huskins for a
follow up appointment. (Doc. 12, pp. 269-270). Dr. Huskins
noted Plaintiff was on medication for neck and back pain, and
for elevated blood sugar and blood pressure. Dr. Huskins
noted that a recent pre-employment exam showed that
Plaintiff's sugar was elevated. Upon examination, Dr.
Huskins noted Plaintiff's chest was clear and his heart
exhibited a normal rate without murmur. Dr. Huskins noted he
discussed Plaintiff's cardiovascular, “knee plastic
screen, ” and end organ damage with Plaintiff.
December 20, 2012, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Huskins to
discuss lab results. (Doc. 12, pp. 271). Plaintiff reported
his sugars had been low at home so he ate candy. Dr. Huskins
told Plaintiff to eat complex carbohydrates if his sugar was
low. Routine health care was discussed with Plaintiff.
March 20, 2013, Plaintiff reported that he was driving a
truck and had experienced blurred vision. (Doc. 12, pp.
272-273). Dr. Huskins noted Plaintiff had troubling
controlling his blood sugars. Dr. Huskins discussed the risks
of being on chronic narcotics with Plaintiff. Dr. Huskins
recommended Plaintiff diet and exercise, and that he avoid
18, 2013, Plaintiff underwent a consultative mental
diagnostic evaluation performed by Dr. Mary J. Sonntag. (Doc.
12, pp. 283-287). When asked what mental limitations kept him
from working, Plaintiff reported that he had no energy and
that he was depressed. Plaintiff reported that he went to
school to obtain his CDL, but once he was behind the big rig
he could not do the work. Plaintiff reported that he was
depressed because he had acne, and that he was a felon, but
he reported he had not been in trouble for over ten years.
Plaintiff reported that he took Alprazolam that was
prescribed by Dr. Huskins, and that he suffered no side
effects and believed it helped. Plaintiff reported that he
could perform activities of daily living without assistance.
Plaintiff reported he was able to get along
“alright” with coworkers and ...