United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
JACQUELINE A. ROGERS PLAINTIFF
CAROLYN W. COLVIN Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
A. Rogers (“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 her application for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and a period of
disability 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. 8. 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 application on April 18,
2013. (Tr. 130). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to memory loss, nerve damage to her right side,
and lower back and leg problems. (Tr. 290). Plaintiff alleges
an onset date of July 1, 2013. (Tr. 130). This application was
denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr.
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her denied
application. (Tr. 216-217). This hearing request was granted,
and Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on August
15, 2014 in Texarkana, Arkansas. (Tr. 145-178). At this
hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by
counsel, Greg Giles. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational
Expert (“VE”) William Webber testified at this
hearing. Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff
testified she was forty-nine (49) years old, which is defined
as a “younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(c). (Tr. 150). As for her education, Plaintiff
testified she had graduated from high school and completed
some college courses. Id.
November 14, 2014, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (Tr. 127-140). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through December
31, 2017. (Tr. 132, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since July 1, 2013, her amended alleged
onset date. (Tr. 132-133, Finding 2). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff has the following severe impairments: seizure
disorder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and
degenerative disc disease status post surgery. (Tr. 133-136,
Finding 3). The ALJ also determined Plaintiff's
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.
136-137, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 137-139, 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 capacity to perform a wide range of
After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that
the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) in that she can
lift and/or carry 20 pounds occasionally, lift and/or carry
10 pounds frequently, stand/walk for 6 hours in an 8-hour
workday, and sit for 6 hours in an 8hour workday. The
claimant can occasionally climb ramps/stairs, balance, stoop,
bend, squat, kneel and crouch, but should [avoid] crawling or
climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds. She can use bilateral
upper extremities occasionally for overhead reaching. The
claimant must avoid more than occasional exposure to dust,
fumes and other pulmonary irritants and must avoid exposure
to dangerous equipment and driving.
then evaluated whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform her Past Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr.
139-140, Finding 6). Considering her RFC and other vocational
considerations, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform her PRW as a pharmacy clerk, dispatcher,
bail bond agent, deputy assessor, receptionist, and fast-food
worker. Id. Because Plaintiff retained the capacity
to perform her PRW, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been
under a disability, as defined by the Act, from July 1, 2013
through the date of his decision or through November 14,
2014. (Tr. 140, Finding 7).
sought review with the Appeals Council. Thereafter, on
January 4, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's
request for review. Id. On January 22, 2016,
Plaintiff filed her Complaint in this case. ECF No. 1. Both
Parties have filed appeal briefs and have consented to the
jurisdiction of this Court. ECF Nos. 8, 12-14. This case is
now ready for decision.
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) (2010); 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 support the
Commissioner's decision. See Johnson v. Apfel,240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). As long as there is
substantial evidence in the record that supports the
Commissioner's decision, the Court may not reverse it
simply because substantial evidence exists in the record that
would have supported a contrary outcome or because the Court
would have decided the case differently. See Haley v.
Massanari,258 F.3d 742, 747 (8th Cir. 2001). If, after
reviewing the record, it is possible to ...