United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
BARRY A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Rogers (“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 his 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. 9. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed his disability applications on February 5,
2013 (DIB) and on July 25, 2013 (SSI). (Tr. 8, 171-173). In
these applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to
post-traumatic stress disorder, post-traumatic stress
disorder, depression, and acid reflux. (Tr. 212). Plaintiff
alleges an onset date of October 19, 2001. (Tr. 8). These
applications were denied initially and again upon
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied
applications. (Tr. 125-126). This hearing request was
granted, and Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held
on May 19, 2014 in Harrison, Arkansas. (Tr. 26-86). At this
hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by
Frederick S. Spencer. Id. Plaintiff, three witnesses
for Plaintiff, and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Larry
Seifert testified at this hearing. Id. During this
hearing, Plaintiff testified he was thirty-two (32) years
old, which is defined as a “younger person” under
20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) and 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c).
(Tr. 29). As for his education, Plaintiff testified he had
graduated from high school. Id.
September 17, 2014, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
applications. (Tr. 5-18). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through March 31,
2015. (Tr. 10, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since October 19, 2001, his alleged onset
date. (Tr. 10, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff has
the following severe impairments: substance abuse disorder,
mood disorder, knee and foot pain, and psoriasis. (Tr. 10,
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.
10-12, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined his RFC. (Tr. 12-16, Finding 5).
First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and found his 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 light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except the claimant is able to
do simple, routine and repetitive tasks in a setting where
interpersonal contact is incidental to the work performed and
the supervision required is simple, direct and concrete. The
claimant cannot work with the general public.
his RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff did not retain the
capacity to perform any of his PRW. (Tr. 16, Finding 6). The
ALJ then determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity
to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 17, Finding 10). The VE testified at
the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.
Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff
retained the capacity to perform the requirements of
representative light, unskilled occupations such as
merchandise marker with 220, 601 such jobs nationwide and 2,
092 such jobs statewide; shipping weigher with 28, 316 such
jobs nationwide and 415 such jobs statewide; and production
assembler with 228, 000 such jobs nationwide and 3, 900 such
jobs statewide. Id. Because Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform other work, the ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from
October 19, 2001 (alleged onset date) through September 17,
2014 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 17, Finding 11).
sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 1-3).
Thereafter, on October 27, 2015, the Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review. Id. On December
3, 2015, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this case. ECF No.
1. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs and have consented
to the jurisdiction of this Court. ECF Nos. 9, 14, 17. 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 ...