United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
GRADY F. TURNER PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. Turner (“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 disability insurance benefits
(“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security 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 disability application for DIB on
October 14, 2011. (ECF No. II, pp. 14, 173). In his
application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to
amputation of his right leg below the knee. (ECF No. 11, p.
195). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of September 14, 2008.
(ECF No. 11, p. 14, 173). This application was denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (ECF No. 11, pp.
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied
applications, and this hearing request was granted. (ECF No.
11, pp. 82-85). After this hearing, on January 31, 2013, the
ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application for DIB. (ECF No. 11, pp. 11-21). Plaintiff
subsequently filed an appeal with this Court. Turner v.
Colvin, No. 2:14-cv-2011, 2014 WL 7069264 (W.D. Ark.
2014). The January 31, 2013, decision of the ALJ was reversed
and remanded for failure to properly analyze Plaintiff's
subjective complaints in accordance with the requirements of
Polaski v. Heckler, 739 F.2d 1320 (8th Cir. 1984).
second administrative hearing was held on November 3, 2015,
in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (ECF No. 11, pp. 578-619). Plaintiff
was present and was represented by Matthew Ketcham.
Id. Plaintiff and VE Larry Seifert testified at this
hearing. Id. At the time of this hearing, Plaintiff
was forty-nine (49) years old, which is defined as a
“younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(c). (ECF No. 11, p. 581). As for his level of
education, Plaintiff earned a high school diploma.
this hearing, on March 1, 2016, the ALJ entered an
unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's application for
DIB. (ECF No. 11, pp. 543-60). In this decision, the ALJ
found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the
Act through September 30, 2011. (ECF No. 11, p. 548, Finding
1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial
Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since September 14,
2008, his alleged onset date, through his date last insured.
(ECF No. 11, p. 548, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had the following severe impairments: amputation of the right
leg below the knee and degenerative disc disease. (ECF No.
11, pp. 549, Finding 3). Despite being severe, the ALJ
determined these impairments 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. 11, pp. 549-52, Finding 4).
then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (ECF No. 11, pp. 552-58, 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:
sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) except that
he cannot climb ladders, ropes and scaffolds. He cannot work
near unprotected heights and cannot operate foot controls on
the right side. The claimant can occasionally climb stairs
and ramps, balance, crawl, kneel, stoop and crouch. A cane is
required to ambulate.
then determined Plaintiff was unable to perform any Past
Relevant Work (“PRW”). (ECF No. 11, p. 558,
Finding 6). The VE testified at the administrative hearing
regarding this issue. (ECF No. 11, pp. 615-18). 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 radio dispatcher, which has a DOT code of 379.362-010,
with approximately twenty-six thousand seven hundred
eighty-one (26, 781) jobs in the national economy and
approximately three hundred fifty (350) jobs in the state of
Arkansas, as an information clerk, which has a DOT code of
237.367-022, with approximately ninety thousand eight hundred
forty (90, 840) jobs in the national economy and
approximately seven hundred ten (710) jobs in the state of
Arkansas, and as a statistical clerk, which has a DOT code of
216.382-062, with approximately nineteen thousand nine
hundred eight (19, 908) jobs in the national economy and
approximately five hundred forty-five (545) jobs in the state
of Arkansas. (ECF No. 11, pp. 558-59, Finding 10). 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 September 14, 2008, through September 30, 2011, the
date last insured. (ECF No. 11, p. 559, Finding 11).
6, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present appeal with this Court.
(ECF No. 1). The Parties consented to the jurisdiction of
this Court on May 9, 2016. (ECF No. 5). This case is now
ready for decision.