United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
CHARLES D. BIVENS, PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration, DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
D. Bivens (“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 Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”), 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 his applications on January 14, 2013 (DIB)
and on June 1, 2013 (SSI). (Tr. 29). In these applications,
Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to a left knee injury.
(Tr. 228). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of May 21, 2007.
(Tr. 29). These applications were denied initially and again
on reconsideration. (Tr. 66-105).
Plaintiff's applications were denied, Plaintiff requested
an administrative hearing on his applications, and this
hearing request was granted. (Tr. 47-65). On September 3,
2014, the ALJ held an administrative hearing on
Plaintiff's applications. Id. At this hearing,
Plaintiff was present and was represented by Sherri
McDonough. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Diane Smith testified at this hearing.
Id. At this administrative hearing, Plaintiff
testified he was forty-one (41) 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. 50-51). As for his education,
Plaintiff testified he had graduated from high school. (Tr.
November 26, 2014, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
applications. (Tr. 26-41). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through September
30, 2011. (Tr. 31, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since May 21, 2007, his alleged onset
date. (Tr. 31, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairment: left knee status-post total
arthroplasty. (Tr. 31, Finding 3). The ALJ also determined
Plaintiff's impairment 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. 31-32, Finding 4).
then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 32-39, 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 the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except he can occasionally
crouch, crawl, and kneel.
evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and determined he was unable to perform
any of his PRW. (Tr. 39, Finding 6). The ALJ then determined
whether there were other jobs existing in significant numbers
in the national economy he could perform. (Tr. 40, 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)
compact assembler (sedentary, unskilled) with 2, 800 such
jobs regionally and 35, 000 such jobs nationally; and (2)
bonder (sedentary, unskilled) with 2, 500 such jobs
regionally and 20, 000 such jobs nationally. (Tr. 40).
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 May 21, 2007 (alleged onset date)
through November 26, 2014 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 41,
Plaintiff requested the review of the Appeals Council. On
January 29, 2016, the Appeals Council denied this request for
review. (Tr. 1-4). On March 7, 2016, Plaintiff filed his
Complaint in this matter. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to
the jurisdiction of this Court on March 7, 2016. ECF No. 5.
Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 11-12. This
case is now ready for decision.