United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Chandler (“Plaintiff”) brings this action
pursuant to § 205(g) of Title II of the Social Security
Act (“The Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2006),
seeking judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) denying her 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. 5. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed her disability applications on August 1,
2013. (Tr. 87, 247-260). Plaintiff alleges she is disabled
due to degenerative disc disease, sciatica, high blood
pressure, scoliosis, and arthritis. (Tr. 271). Plaintiff
alleges an onset date of May 16, 2013. (Tr. 87). These
applications were denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 141-180).
requested an administrative hearing on her applications, and
this hearing request was granted. (Tr. 107-140).
Plaintiff's first administrative hearing was held on
March 20, 2013, and Plaintiff's second administrative
hearing was held on September 12, 2014. Id.
Plaintiff's second administrative hearing was held in
Texarkana, Arkansas. (Tr. 107-125). Plaintiff was present and
was represented by counsel, Greg Giles, at this hearing.
Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Jerold L. Hildre testified at this
hearing. Id. On the date of this hearing, Plaintiff
was twenty-seven (27) years old, which is defined as a
“younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(c) (2008) (DIB) and 20 C.F.R. §
416.963(c)(2008) (SSI). (Tr. 112). As for her education,
Plaintiff also testified at this hearing that she had
completed high school. (Tr. 113).
October 24, 2014, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision
denying Plaintiff's disability applications. (Tr.
84-102). In this decision, the ALJ determined Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through December
31, 2013. (Tr. 89, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since May 16, 2013, her alleged onset
date. (Tr. 89, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: obesity, lumbar disc
disease, and thoracic disc disease. (Tr. 89-96, Finding 3).
The ALJ also determined, however, that Plaintiff did not have
an impairment or a combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled one of the listed impairments in the
Listings of Impairments in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of
Regulations No. 4 (“Listings”). (Tr. 96, Finding
decision, the ALJ also evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 96-101, Finding 5). First, the ALJ
evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and allegedly
disabling symptoms. Id. Second, the ALJ reviewed all
the evidence in the record and hearing testimony and
determined Plaintiff's RFC. Id. Specifically,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the RFC to perform a
wide range of sedentary work:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except the claimant can
never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds and can occasionally
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, or climb ramps/stairs.
then determined Plaintiff had no Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) that she would be able to perform, but
she would be able to perform other work existing in
significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 101,
Findings 6, 10). Plaintiff and the VE testified at the
administrative hearing regarding these issues. Id.
Based upon this testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had
no PRW. (Tr. 101). However, the ALJ also determined that,
considering Plaintiff's age, education, work experience,
and RFC, there were jobs existing in significant numbers in
the national economy that Plaintiff could perform. (Tr.
101-102, Finding 10).
the VE testified Plaintiff would be able to perform the
requirements of occupations such as the following: (1) order
clerk (sedentary, unskilled) with 139, 000 such jobs in the
nation and 500 such jobs in Arkansas; (2) optical good
assembler (sedentary, unskilled) with 106, 000 such jobs in
the nation and 600 such jobs in Arkansas; and (3) lens
inserter (sedentary, unskilled) with 100, 000 such jobs in
the nation and 5, 000 such jobs in Arkansas. Id.
Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this other
work, the ALJ also determined Plaintiff had not bee under a
disability, as defined in the Act, from May 16, 2013 through
the date of the ALJ's decision or through October 24,
2014. (Tr. 102, Finding 11).
requested that the Appeals Council review the ALJ's
unfavorable decision. On December 18, 2015, the Appeals
Council denied this request. On January 15, 2016, Plaintiff
filed the present appeal. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to
the jurisdiction of this Court on January 19, 2016. ECF No.
5. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 10, 17.
This case is now ready for decision.