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Davis v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division

June 6, 2017

KIM L. DAVIS PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

         Kim L. Davis (“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 her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), and a period of disability under Titles II and XVI of the Act.

         The 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.[1] Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.

         1. Background:

         Plaintiff protectively filed her disability applications on August 3, 2012. (Tr. 11). In her applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to fibromyalgia, migraines, and pain. (Tr. 182). During the administrative hearing in this matter, Plaintiff also alleged being disabled due to urinary incontinence: “I have issues with my bladder, frequent urination and constantly feel like I have to go to the bathroom, and I have to cath at least eight times a day which I need help doing that because I can't get it right.” (Tr. 39). Plaintiff alleged an onset date of January 1, 2011 but later amended that alleged onset date to June 5, 2012. (Tr. 11). These applications were denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 65-76).

         After Plaintiff's applications were denied, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr. 126). Thereafter, on September 23, 2014, the SSA held an administrative hearing on Plaintiff's applications. (Tr. 28-64). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by Mark Maske. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Dr. Magrowski testified at this hearing. Id.

         On January 6, 2015, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's applications. (Tr. 8-24). The ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through March 31, 2015. (Tr. 13, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since June 5, 2012, her amended alleged onset date. (Tr. 13, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and depression. (Tr. 13-15, Finding 3). The ALJ also determined Plaintiff's impairments 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. 15-17, Finding 4).

         The ALJ determined Plaintiff was thirty-nine (39) years old, which is defined as a “younger person” under 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c) (2008) (SSI) and 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008) (DIB). (Tr. 22, Finding 7). As for her education, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had at least a high school education and was able to communicate in English. (Tr. 22, Finding 8).

         The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and assessed her Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”). (Tr. 17-22, Finding 5). After assessing her subjective complaints, the ALJ determined her allegations were not entirely credible and found she retained the following

         RFC:

After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CR 404.1567(b) except that she is limited to work that involves simple tasks with simple instructions of a nature that can be learned within a short demonstration period of up to thirty days. The claimant can maintain concentration, persistence, and pace in this limited range of tasks for two hours at a time before taking a normally scheduled break and returning to work.

Id. The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 22, Finding 6). Considering his RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff could not perform any of her PRW.

         The ALJ also considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 23, Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id. Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following three occupations: (1) mail clerk (light, unskilled) with 75, 000 such jobs in the national economy; (2) office helper (light, unskilled) with 80, 000 such jobs in the national economy; and (3) cashier II (light, unskilled) with 1, 000, 000 such jobs in the national economy. (Tr. 23). Based upon this finding, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined in the Act, from her alleged onset date of June 5, 2012. Id.

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested the review of the Appeals Council. On April 26, 2016, the Appeals Council denied this request for review. (Tr. 1-3). On June 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed her Complaint in this matter. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on June 21, 2016. ECF No. 5. ...


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