United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
TRACY D. WALLER PLAINTIFF
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
D. Waller (“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”) under Title XVI of 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. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed her SSI application on June 19, 2009. (Tr.
207). In her application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled
due to a broken collar bone, broken ribs, mental impairments,
high blood pressure, and liver problems. (Tr. 245). Plaintiff
alleges an onset date of March 17, 2009. (Tr. 16). This
application was denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 87-88).
Plaintiff's application was denied, Plaintiff requested
an administrative hearing on her application, and this
hearing request was granted. (Tr. 63-86, 118). Thereafter, on
September 8, 2010, the ALJ held an administrative hearing on
Plaintiff's application. (Tr. 63-86). At this hearing,
Plaintiff was present and was represented by Decker Barnette.
Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Mr. Hildry testified at the hearing in this
matter. Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified
she was forty-five (45) years old, which is defined as a
“younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
416.963(c) (2008) (SSI). (Tr. 66-67). As for her education,
Plaintiff testified she had only completed the tenth grade in
school. (Tr. 67).
March 18, 2011, after this administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (Tr. 96-106). Plaintiff appealed that
unfavorable decision to the Appeals Council. (Tr. 89-90).
Upon review, the Appeals Council remanded Plaintiff's
case back to the ALJ. Id. Importantly, the Appeals
Council directed the ALJ to develop the record:
Obtain additional evidence concerning the claimant's
status post rib fractures, status post right clavicle
fracture, and mental impairments in order to
complete the administrative record in accordance with the
regulatory standards regarding consultative examinations and
existing medical evidence (20 CFR 416.912-913). The
additional evidence may include, if warranted and available,
consultative internal medicine and mental examinations with
psychological testing and medical source statements about
what the claimant can still do despite the impairments.
(Tr. 92-93) (emphasis added).
then held a second administrative hearing. (Tr. 37-62).
Thereafter, the ALJ again entered a fully unfavorable
decision. (Tr. 16-31). In this decision, the ALJ found
Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since June 19, 2009, her application
date. (Tr. 19, Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had the
following severe impairments: status post rib fractures and
status post right clavicle fracture. (Tr. 19, 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. 19-20, Finding 3).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 20-29, 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
Giving the claimant the benefit of the doubt, I find that the
claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform at
least light work (lift and/or carry 20 pounds occasionally,
and 10 pounds frequently), as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(c).
She can sit, stand, and/or walk for about 6 hours in an
8-hour workday. She is not limited in pushing and/or puffing
with her upper and lower extremities. She has no postural,
manipulative, visual, communicative, or environmental
limitations. She does not have a severe mental impairment.
her RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff was capable of
performing her Past Relevant Work (“PRW”) as a
cashier or checker. (Tr. 29-31, Finding 5). 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, ...