United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
ORDER AFFIRMING THE COMMISSIONER
Kemp filed an application for social security disability
benefits with an amended alleged onset date of January 1,
2007. (R. at 27-28). The administrative law judge (ALJ) held
a hearing, after which he denied the application. (R. at 20).
The Appeals Council denied review. (R. at 297).
Kemp filed a Notice Regarding Substitution of Party Upon
Death of Claimant on November 21, 2011. (R. at 353). She
thereafter sought judicial review. (R. at 304-05). The
district court affirmed the Commissioner's denial of
benefits. (R. at 308- 11). The Eighth Circuit, however,
vacated the district court judgment and remanded the case for
further proceedings. (R. at 312-16).
second hearing, the ALJ again denied the application. (R. at
265). The Appeals Council denied Ms. Kemp's request for
review. (R. at 244). The second ALJ's decision is now the
final decision of the Commissioner, and it is from this
decision that Ms. Kemp has requested judicial review.
found that Mr. Kemp had the following severe impairments:
osteoarthritis, anxiety disorder NOS, depressive disorder
NOS, borderline intellectual functioning, and hernias. (R. at
257). The ALJ found that, during the relevant time period,
Mr. Kemp had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to
perform sedentary work, except that he could only
occasionally stoop, crouch, crawl, and kneel; could only
occasionally reach overhead with his dominant upper
extremity; could perform work where interpersonal contact is
incidental to the work performed, defined as interpersonal
contact requiring a limited degree of interaction, such as
meeting and greeting the public, answering simple questions,
accepting payment, and making change; could work only in jobs
where the complexity of tasks is learned by demonstration or
repetition with 30 days, with few variables and little
judgment; and where the work would require only simple,
direct, and concrete supervision. (R. at 260). After taking
testimony from a vocational expert (VE), the ALJ found that
the RFC precluded Mr. Kemp's past relevant work. (R. at
263). The VE testified, however, that Mr. Kemp was able to
perform jobs such as table worker and printed circuit board
checker. (R. at 264). As a result, the ALJ held that Mr. Kemp
was not disabled during the relevant time. (R. at 265)
Court reviews the record to determine whether substantial
evidence on the record as a whole supports the
Commissioner's findings. Prosch v. Apfel, 201
F.3d 1010, 1012 (8th Cir. 2000). “Substantial
evidence” in this context means “enough that a
reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
ALJ's decision.” Slusser v. Astrue, 557
F.3d 923, 925 (8th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).
Kemp argues that the ALJ failed to properly account for Mr.
Kemp's borderline intellectual functioning in the RFC and
she disputes whether Mr. Kemp could have sat for the duration
required for sedentary work.
the first argument, the ALJ limited Mr. Kemp to work that
could be learned by demonstration or repetition within 30
days, with few variables and requiring little judgment. The
ALJ further required simple, direct, and concrete
supervision. (R. at 260). Ms. Kemp argues that the ALJ should
have included limitations on understanding, remembering, or
following work instructions and a limitation to simple work.
This argument is unavailing. The limitations that the ALJ
provided account for borderline intellectual functioning, and
Ms. Kemp does not demonstrate how those limitations fail to
Kemp also argues that Mr. Kemp could not sit for the
requisite time to perform sedentary work, noting that a
consultative examiner had stated that Mr. Kemp had moderate
limitations in his ability to sit. (R. at 212). Mr. Kemp had
also testified that he could sit for a maximum of 15 to 20
minutes during the first hearing on May 28, 2010. (R. at 38).
The consultative examiner provided no detail in the
limitation, however, and it is not possible to tell from the
examiner's notes how long Mr. Kemp could sit.
Additionally, Mr. Kemp did not take any medication for his
conditions, which suggests that his discomfort was tolerable.
(R. at 204). In fact, the record contains no medical
treatment records at all, which results in a very limited
body of evidence. It is the claimant's burden to prove
the RFC. Ingram v. Chater, 107 F.3d 598, 601 (8th
is possible to draw different conclusions from evidence in
the record, the Court must affirm if substantial evidence on
the record as a whole supports the ALJ's decision.
Milam v. Colvin, 794 F.3d 978, 983 (8th Cir. 2015).
In this case, substantial evidence on the record as a whole
supports the ALJ's decision.
reasonable mind would find that the evidence is adequate to
support the ALJ's decision. The RFC sufficiently
accounted for Mr. Kemp's borderline intellectual
functioning and all other medically ...