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.

Leonard v. Colvin

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

January 27, 2017

CHRISTOPHER LEONARD PLAINTIFF
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

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

         Christopher Leonard ("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 a period of disability, Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB"), and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") under Titles II and XVI of 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 his disability applications on July 22, 2011. (Tr. 16, 121-129). In his applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to diabetes. (Tr. 145). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of January 15, 2011. (Tr. 16). These applications were denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 57-60).

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied applications. (Tr. 78). The ALJ granted that request and held an administrative hearing on December 10, 2013 in Texarkana, Arkansas. (Tr. 32-56). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by Robert Bradford, Jr. Id. Plaintiff, a Medical Expert ("ME"), and a Vocational Expert ("VE") testified at this hearing. Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff testified he was thirty-three (33), which is defined as a "younger person" under 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c) (SSI) and 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (DIB). (Tr. 46). As for his level of education, Plaintiff testified he had graduated from high school. Id.

         After this hearing, on January 13, 2014, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff s applications for DIB and SSI. (Tr. 13-27). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2013. (Tr. 18, Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity ("SGA") since January 15, 2011, his alleged onset date. (Tr. 18, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood, diabetes mellitus uncontrolled and insulin dependent, and morbid obesity. (Tr. 18-19, 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 Regulations No. 4 ("Listings"). (Tr. 19-23, Finding 4).

         The ALJ then considered Plaintiffs Residual Functional Capacity ("RFC"). (Tr. 23-25, Finding 5). First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiffs subjective complaints and found his claimed limitations were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the RFC to perform the following:

After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform less than the full range of light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) in that he can lift and carry up to 10 pounds frequently and 20 pounds occasionally; stand/walk for a total of 2 hours in an 8 hour workday and sit for a total of 8 hours in an 8 hour workday; occasionally climb stairs but never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; occasionally balance, stop, kneel, crouch, and crawl; and cannot be exposed to unprotected heights, moving machinery, hazardous materials, or commercial driving. The claimant does not have any manipulative limitations. Mentally, the claimant is able to perform simple, routine, and repetitive tasks. He is able to respond appropriately to supervisors and co-workers, able to use judgment appropriately, and able to tolerate routine changes in the work setting. The claimant is able to maintain concentration, persistence, and pace, at least for two hours at a time during an eight-hour workday. He is unable to work with the general public.

Id.

         The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiffs Past Relevant Work ("PRW"). (Tr. 25, Finding 6). Considering his RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff could not perform any of his PRW. Id. The ALJ also considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 26, 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 following: (1) button inspector with 3, 440 such jobs in Arkansas and 35, 012 such jobs in the United States; (2) eye glass polisher with 3, 058 such jobs in Arkansas and 31, 901 such jobs in the United States; and (3) document preparing with 4, 591 such jobs in Arkansas and 68, 680 such jobs in the United States. Id. Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this work, the ALJ also determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from Plaintiff s alleged onset date of January 15, 2011 through the date of her decision or through January 13, 2014. (Tr. 26, Finding 11).

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council. (Tr. 7). On November 30, 2015, the Appeals Council denied this request. (Tr. 1-3). On January 8, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present appeal with this Court. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on January 11, 2016. ECF No. 5. This case is now ripe for determination.

         2. Applicable Law:

         In 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) (2006); 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 ...


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.