United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
SHANE L. JONES PLAINTIFF
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
L. Jones (“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 application for a period of
disability and Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) under Title II 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. 6. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed his DIB application on July 30, 2014. (Tr.
9). In his application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due
to a back injury, arthritis, depression, thoracic spine
degenerative disk disease, joint disease, rotator cuff
problems, muscle spasms daily, scoliosis, severe knee pain,
and right ankle fracture. (Tr. 211). Plaintiff alleges an
onset date of July 1, 2014. (Tr. 9). This application was
denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr.
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied
application. (Tr. 118-119). The ALJ granted that request and
held an administrative hearing on April 23, 2015 in Harrison,
Arkansas. (Tr. 23-76). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present
and was represented by counsel, Frederick Spencer.
Id. Plaintiff, Vocational Expert (“VE”)
Jim Spragins, and a witness for Plaintiff testified at this
hearing. Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff testified he
was currently forty (40) years old, which is defined as a
“younger person” under under 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(c) (DIB). (Tr. 29). As for his level of education,
Plaintiff testified he had graduated from high school and
attended two years of college. Id.
this hearing, on August 17, 2015, the ALJ entered an
unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's application for
DIB. (Tr. 6-18). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff
last met the insured status requirements of the Act through
December 31, 2014. (Tr. 11, Finding 1). The ALJ found
Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) from his alleged onset of July 1, 2014
through his date last insured or through December 31, 2014.
(Tr. 11, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the
following “severe” impairments: osteoarthritis or
degenerative disc disease of the thoracolumbar spine,
obesity, osteoarthritis of the right ankle status post remote
open reduction and internal fixation, degenerative joint
disease, bursitis, tendinitis of the right shoulder, and
major depressive disorder. (Tr. 11, 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. 11-12, Finding 4).
then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 13-16, 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 RFC to
perform the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the
claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except he could
occasionally climb ramps and stairs, he could never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, he could occasionally balance,
stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl; he had to avoid concentrated
exposure to hazards including no driving as a part of work;
and he was able to perform work where interpersonal contact
is incidental to work performed, there is no contact with the
general public, the complexity of tasks is learned and
performed by rote, with few variables and little use of
judgment, and the supervision required is simple, direct and
then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 16, Finding 6). Considering his
RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff could not perform any of
his PRW. Id. The ALJ also determined whether
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work
existing is significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr.
16-17, Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative
hearing regarding this issue. Id.
upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained
the capacity to perform the following light occupations: (1)
price marker with 319, 000 such jobs nationally; (2) plastic
molding machine tender with 168, 000 such jobs nationally;
and (3) routing clerk with 51, 000 such jobs nationally.
Id. The ALJ also determined Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform the following sedentary occupations: (1)
small products assembler with 23, 000 such jobs nationally;
and (2) document preparer with 21, 000 such jobs nationally.
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 July 1, 2014 through
the date of the ALJ's decision or through December 31,
2014, Plaintiff's date last insured. (Tr. 17, Finding
Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council. (Tr. 5).
On September 18, 2015, the Appeals Council denied this
request. (Tr. 1-3). On October 30, 2015, Plaintiff filed the
present appeal with this Court. ECF No. 1. The Parties
consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on October 30,
2015. ECF No. 6. This case is now ripe for determination.