United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
JOHN P. HORNER PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security AdministrationDEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Horner (“Plaintiff”) brings this action under 42
U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of a final
decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (“SSA”) denying his claim for a
period of disability and supplemental security income
(“SSI”) benefits under Title XVI of the Social
Security Act (“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. 7). Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed his disability application for SSI on
February 11, 2013. (ECF No. 10, p. 15). In his application,
Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to learning disability,
personality disorder, and mental retardation. (ECF No. 10, p.
258). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of January 1, 1994.
(ECF No. 10, pp. 15, 254). This application was denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (ECF No. 10, pp.
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied
application, and this hearing request was granted. (ECF No.
10, p. 103). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held
on February 11, 2015, in Texarkana, Arkansas. (ECF No. 10,
pp. 31-67). Plaintiff was present and was represented by
Gregory Giles. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Juanita M. Grant testified at this
hearing. Id. At the time of this hearing, Plaintiff
was twenty-one (21) years old, which is defined as a
“younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
416.963(c). (ECF No. 10, pp. 35-36). As for his level of
education, Plaintiff attended special education classes and
completed the twelfth grade. Id.
this hearing, on May 11, 2015, the ALJ entered an unfavorable
decision denying Plaintiff's application for SSI. (ECF
No. 10, pp. 12-25). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since February 11, 2013, his application
date. (ECF No. 10, p. 17, Finding 1). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff had the following severe impairment: borderline
intellectual functioning. (ECF No. 10, p. 17-18, Finding 2).
Despite being severe, the ALJ determined this impairment did
not meet or medically equal the requirements of any of the
Listings of Impairments in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part
404 (“Listings”). (ECF No. 10, pp. 18-20, Finding
then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (ECF No. 10, pp. 20-24, Finding 4).
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:
a full range of work at all exertional levels but with the
following nonexertional limitations. [Plaintiff] is limited
to the performance of simple, routine, and repetitive tasks,
and simple work-related decisionmaking. He cannot perform at
a production rate pace but can perform goal-oriented work. He
can have only occasional interaction with supervisors,
coworkers, and the public.
then determined Plaintiff had no Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (ECF No. 10, p. 24, Finding 5). The VE
testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue.
(ECF No. 10, pp. 51-55). Based on Plaintiff's age,
education, work experience, and RFC, the ALJ determined there
were jobs existing in significant numbers in the national
economy Plaintiff could perform, such as a dishwasher, which
has a DOT code of 318.687-010, with approximately four
hundred ninety-eight thousand one hundred ten (498, 110) jobs
in the national economy, as a laundry worker, which has a DOT
code of 361.687-010, with approximately four hundred
twenty-six thousand six hundred seventy (426, 670) jobs in
the national economy, and as a groundskeeper, which has a DOT
code of 406.687-010, with approximately eight hundred thirty
thousand six hundred forty (830, 640) jobs in the national
economy. (ECF No. 10, pp. 24-25, Finding 9). Because jobs
exist in significant numbers in the national economy which
Plaintiff can perform, the ALJ also determined Plaintiff had
not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from
February 11, 2013, through May 11, 2015, the date of the
ALJ's decision. (ECF No. 10, p. 25, Finding 10).
on May 26, 2015, Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals
Council. (ECF No. 10, p. 11). The Appeals Council denied this
request on August 12, 2016. (ECF No. 10, pp. 5-10). On
September 26, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present appeal with
this Court. (ECF No. 1). The Parties consented to the
jurisdiction of this Court on September 27, 2016. (ECF No.
7). 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) (2006); 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 ...