United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Bordelon (“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 applications for Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”), Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”), and a period of disability
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. 5. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed her disability applications on April 14,
2011. (Tr. 15, 122-135). In these applications, Plaintiff
alleges being disabled due to anxiety and fibromyalgia. (Tr.
145). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of June 1, 2011. (Tr.
10). These applications were denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 48-51).
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her denied
applications. (Tr. 70-72). This hearing request was granted,
and Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on
September 4, 2012. (Tr. 23-47). This hearing was held in Hot
Springs, Arkansas. Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff
was present and was represented by Shannon Carroll.
Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Mack Welch testified at this hearing.
October 26, 2012, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
applications. (Tr. 7-17). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through December
31, 2015. (Tr. 12, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since June 1, 2011, her alleged onset
date. (Tr. 12, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff has
the following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, adjustment
disorder, and anxiety. (Tr. 12-13, Finding 3). 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. 13-14, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 14-17, Finding 5).
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
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except that the claimant is
limited to work where interpersonal contact is limited
(limited being defined as infrequent contact that is not
considered to be an essential job duty such as responding
appropriately to simple questions).
her RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff was capable of
performing her Past Relevant Work (“PRW”) as a
medical transcriptionist. (Tr. 17, Finding 6). Because the
ALJ found Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform her PRW,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability,
as defined by the Act, from June 1, 2011 through the date of
his decision or through October 26, 2012. (Tr. 17, Finding
sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 5). Thereafter,
on October 23, 2013, the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review. (Tr. 1-3). Plaintiff then
appealed her case to this Court. See Bordelon v.
SSA, 6:13-cv-06131, ECF No. 1 (W.D. Ark. Nov. 13, 2013).
On January 15, 2015, the SSA remanded this case for further
administrative review. Id. Consistent with that
directive, the ALJ held a second administrative hearing on
August 11, 2015 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (Tr. 405-440).
Subsequent to that hearing, the ALJ again entered an
unfavorable administrative decision denying Plaintiff's
applications for disability. (Tr. 338-404). On October 30,
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. 5, 11-12. This case
is now ready for decision.
reviewing this case, this Court is required to determine
whether the Commissioner's findings are supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. See
42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010); Ramirez v. Barnhart,292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial evidence is
less than a preponderance of the evidence, but it is enough
that a reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. See Johnson v. Apfel,240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). As long as there is
substantial evidence in the record that supports the
Commissioner's decision, the Court may not reverse it
simply because substantial evidence exists in the record that
would have supported a contrary outcome or because the Court
would have decided the case differently. See Haley v.
Massanari,258 F.3d 742, 747 (8th Cir. 2001). If, after
reviewing the record, it is possible to ...