United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
THERESA M. HENDERSON PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
M. Henderson (“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 DIB application on July 22, 2013. (Tr.
75). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled
due to bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder,
agoraphobia, anxiety, allergies, and arthritis. (Tr. 241).
Plaintiff alleges an onset date of June 17, 2013. (Tr. 75).
This application was denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 119-134).
Plaintiff's application was denied, Plaintiff requested
an administrative hearing on her application, and this
hearing request was granted. (Tr. 92-118). Thereafter, on
October 2, 2014, the ALJ held an administrative hearing on
Plaintiff's application. Id. At this hearing,
Plaintiff was present and was represented by Hans Pullen.
Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Diane Smith testified at this hearing.
Id. At this administrative hearing, Plaintiff
testified she was fifty-one (51) years old, which is defined
as a “person closely approaching advanced age”
under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(d) (2008). (Tr. 96). As for
her education, Plaintiff testified she had a bachelor's
degree in education. (Tr. 97).
December 12, 2014, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (Tr. 72-87). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through December
31, 2017. (Tr. 77, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since June 17, 2013, her alleged onset
date. (Tr. 77, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: PTSD, bipolar disorder,
depression, anxiety, and cannabis dependence. (Tr. 77-78,
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.
78-80, Finding 4).
then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 80-85, 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 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 a full range of work at all
exertional levels but with the following nonexertional
limitations: she should avoid excessive exposure to dust,
fumes, or other pulmonary irritants due to her asthma.
Mentally, the claimant is limited to work involving simple,
routine, repetitive tasks where supervision is simple,
direct, and concrete (unskilled work). Furthermore, she can
maintain only occasional contact with co-workers and
supervisors, and must have no contact with the general
public. She cannot work in a team or in collaboration with
evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and determined she was unable to perform
any of her PRW. (Tr. 85, Finding 6). The ALJ then determined
whether there were other jobs existing in significant numbers
in the national economy that she could perform. (Tr. 86,
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 occupations: (1) linen
room attendant (medium, unskilled) with 4, 000 such jobs in
the region and 47, 000 such jobs in the nation; (2) marking
clerk (light, unskilled) with 8, 000 such jobs in the region
and 180, 000 such jobs nationwide; and (3) bakery racker
(light, unskilled) with 5, 000 such jobs in the region and
65, 000 such jobs nationwide. Id. Because Plaintiff
retained the capacity to perform this work, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as
defined by the Act, from June 17, 2013 (alleged onset date)
through December 12, 2014 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 87,
Plaintiff requested the review of the Appeals Council. (Tr.
51-52). On January 29, 2016, the Appeals Council denied this
request for review. (Tr. 1-4). On February 29, 2016,
Plaintiff filed her Complaint in this matter. ECF No. 1. The
Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on March
18, 2016. ECF No. 8. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs.
ECF Nos. 12- 14. This case is now ready for decision.