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.

Green v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

January 23, 2017

EVA GREEN PLAINTIFF
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

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

         Eva Green (“Plaintiff”) brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denying her claim for a period of disability, disability insurance benefits (“DIB”), and supplemental security income (“SSI”) benefits under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (“The Act”).

         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 applications for DIB and SSI on February 19, 2013. (ECF No. 12, p. 19). In her applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to diabetes, high blood pressure, and hand surgery. (ECF No. 12, p. 282). Plaintiff initially alleged an onset date of September 21, 2012, which was subsequently amended at the administrative hearing to January 1, 2013. (ECF No. 12, pp. 113-14, 269). These applications were denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (ECF No. 12, pp. 121-71).

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her denied applications, and this hearing request was granted. (ECF No. 12, p. 189). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on August 14, 2014, in Dallas, Texas. (ECF No. 12, pp. 83-116). Plaintiff was present and was represented by Greg Giles. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) William Weber testified at this hearing. Id. At the time of this hearing, Plaintiff was fifty-seven (57) years old, which is defined as a “person of advanced age” under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(e); 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(e). (ECF No. 12, p. 88). As for her level of education, Plaintiff has a high school diploma. Id. at 88-89.

         After this hearing, on September 25, 2014, the ALJ entered a partially favorable decision granting Plaintiff's applications for DIB and SSI beginning on January 24, 2014. (ECF No. 12, pp. 15-32). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2016. (ECF No. 12, p. 21, Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since September 21, 2012, her alleged onset date. (ECF No. 12, p. 21-22, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments since the alleged onset date of September 21, 2012: degenerative disc disease, depressive disorder, and anxiety disorder; and, Plaintiff had the following severe impairments beginning on the established onset date of January 24, 2014: large disc protrusion effacing the ventral CSF with mild deformity of the ventral cord margin. (ECF No. 12, pp. 22-24, Finding 3). Despite being severe, the ALJ determined these impairments did not meet or medically equal the requirements of any of the Listings of Impairments in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404 (“Listings”). (ECF No. 12, pp. 24-26, Finding 4).

         The ALJ then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”). (ECF No. 12, pp. 27-30, 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 RFC to perform:

less than the full range of light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) in that she could lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently, sit 6 hours in an 8 hour workday, and stand/walk 6 hours in an 8 hour workday. She could not climb using ropes, ladders, or scaffolds; and could occasionally do the other postural activities. She could use her right upper extremity frequently but not constantly for fingering, handling, and reaching. Furthermore, she was limited to simple routine tasks and instructions.

Id. Thereafter, the ALJ determined, beginning on January 24, 2014, Plaintiff retained the RFC to perform:

less than the full range of sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) in that she can lift/carry 10 pounds occasionally and less than 10 pounds frequently, sit 6 hours in an 8 hour workday and stand/walk 2 hours in an 8 hour workday with normal rest breaks. She can occasionally climb ramps/stiars, balance, stoop, bend, squat, kneel, and crouch; she can never crawl or climb ropes, ladders, or scaffolds. She can understand simple instructions and carry out simple unskilled tasks. She can use her right upper extremity frequently but not constantly for fingering, handling, and reaching.

(ECF No. 12, p. 30, Finding 6). The ALJ stated he arrived at the date of January 24, 2014, “by assuming that her severe back impairment existed for six months before it was detected by MRI, ” and that Plaintiff's subjective complaints for that time period were generally credible. Id.

         The ALJ then determined, prior to January 24, 2014, Plaintiff could return to her Past Relevant Work (“PRW”) as a polisher/buffer, which has a DOT code of 708.684-062, as a small products assembler, which has a DOT code of 706.684-022, and as a poultry eviscerator, which has a DOT code of 525.687-074. (ECF No. 12, p. 30, Finding 7). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. (ECF No. 13, pp. 107-13). The ALJ then determined, beginning on January 24, 2014, Plaintiff was unable to return to her PRW. (ECF No. 12, pp. 30-31, Finding 8). The ALJ then determined no jobs existed in significant numbers in the national economy which Plaintiff could perform beginning on January 24, 2014 because, “[e]ven if [Plaintiff] had the [RFC] for the full range of sedentary work, a finding of ‘disabled' is directed by Medical-Vocational Rule 201.04.” (ECF No. 12, p. 31, Finding 12). Because Plaintiff could perform her PRW prior to January 24, 2014, the ALJ also determined Plaintiff became disabled, as defined by the Act, on January 24, 2014, and continued to be disabled through September 25, 2014, the date of the ALJ's decision. (ECF No. 12, p. 31, Finding 13).

         Thereafter, on October 14, 2014, Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council. (ECF No. 12, p. 12). The Appeals Council denied this request on August 13, 2015. (ECF No. 12, pp. 6-11). On September 24, 2015, Plaintiff filed the present appeal with this Court. (ECF No. 1). The Parties consented to the ...


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.