United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge Susan Webber Wright. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Marcus Mixon, applied for disability insurance benefits on
January 29, 2013, alleging an onset date of July 1, 2008.
(Tr. at 14). After conducting a hearing, the Administrative
Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied his application. (Tr. at
24). The Appeals Council denied Mr. Mixon's request for
review. (Tr. at 1). The ALJ's decision now stands as the
final decision of the Commissioner, and Mr. Mixon has
requested judicial review.
reasons stated below, the Court should affirm the decision of
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Mr. Mixon had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the application date of January 29, 2013. (Tr.
at 16). The ALJ found at Step Two that Mr. Mixon had the
following severe impairments: polymyositis,  degenerative disc
disease, degenerative joint disease, prostate disorder, and
obesity. (Tr. at 16). At Step Three, the ALJ determined that
Mr. Mixon's impairment did not meet or equal a listed
proceeding to Step Four, the ALJ determined that Mr. Mixon
had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to
perform sedentary work except for the following limitations:
1) he should never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; 2) he
could only occasionally climb ramps or stairs; 3) he could
only occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl;
and 4) he should have the option to sit or stand at will.
(Tr. at 17). Next, the ALJ found that Mr. Mixon is unable to
perform past relevant work. (Tr. at 23). Evaluating testimony
from the Vocational Expert (“VE”), the ALJ held
that based on Mr. Mixon's age, education, work
experience, and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers in
the national economy that he could perform. (Tr. at
23-24). Consequently, the ALJ found that Mr. Mixon
was not disabled. (Tr. at 24).
Standard of Review
Court's function on review is to determine whether the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole and whether it is based on
legal error. Miller v. Colvin, 784 F.3d 472, 477
(8th Cir. 2015); see also 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
While “substantial evidence” is that which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion, “substantial evidence on the record as a
whole” requires a court to engage in a more
“[O]ur review is more than an examination of the record
for the existence of substantial evidence in support of the
Commissioner's decision; we also take into account
whatever in the record fairly detracts from that
decision.” Reversal is not warranted, however,
“merely because substantial evidence would have
supported an opposite decision.”
Reed v. Barnhart, 399 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2005)
not the task of this Court to review the evidence and make an
independent decision. Neither is it to reverse the decision
of the ALJ because there is evidence in the record which
contradicts his findings. The test is whether there is
substantial evidence in the record as a whole which supports
the decision of the ALJ. Miller, 784 F.3d at 477.
The Court has ...