United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
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.
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 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).
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
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).
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.
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).
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.
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 ...