Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Olson v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division

June 23, 2017

ANGELA OLSON PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

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

         Angela Olson (“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 a period of disability, Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) 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. 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 June 14, 2013 (DIB) and on July 25, 2013 (SSI). (Tr. 21). In these applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to a heart condition, depression, GERD, scoliosis, and arthritis in her lower spine. (Tr. 201). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of February 1, 2011. (Tr. 21). These applications were denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 69-98).

         Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on December 30, 2013. (Tr. 122). This request was granted, and Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on September 12, 2014 in El Dorado, Arkansas. (Tr. 42-68). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by William Prince. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Stephanie Ford testified at this hearing. Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified she was forty-three (43) years old, which is defined as a “younger person” under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008) (DIB) and 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c)(2008) (SSI). (Tr. 48). As for her education, Plaintiff testified she had completed the eleventh grade in high school. (Tr. 48).

         On April 15, 2015, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's applications. (Tr. 18-34). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through March 31, 2013. (Tr. 23, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since February 1, 2011, her alleged onset day. (Tr. 23, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, obesity, COPD, and bipolar disorder. (Tr. 23-24, 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. 24-26, Finding 4).

         In this decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 26-32, Finding 5). First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and found her claimed limitations were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following:

The claimant retains the residual functional capacity to lift and carry 10 pounds occasionally and less than 10 pounds frequently; stand and/or walk two hours in an eight-hour workday; sit in 20 to 30 minute intervals for six hours in an eight-hour workday; and push and/or pull 10 pounds occasionally and less than 10 pounds frequently. Furthermore, she retains the mental ability to understand, remember, and carry out simple job instructions; make judgments in simple work-related situations; respond appropriately to co-workers/supervisors with occasional incidental contact that is not necessary to perform the work; respond appropriately to minor changes in the usual work routine; and must have no dealings with the general public.

Id.

         The ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work (“PRW”) and found Plaintiff did not retain the capacity to perform any of her PRW. (Tr. 32, Finding 6). The ALJ then considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 32-33, Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id. Based upon this testimony and considering her RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform her PRW as (1) a document preparer (unskilled) with 8, 900 such jobs in Arkansas and 89, 000 such jobs nationwide; and (2) a compact assembler (unskilled) with 8, 800 such jobs in Arkansas and 85, 000 such jobs nationwide. Id. Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this other work, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from February 1, 2011 through the date of the ALJ's decision or through April 15, 2015. (Tr. 33, Finding 11).

         Plaintiff sought review with the Appeals Council. On June 10, 2016, the Appeals Council denied her request for review. (Tr. 1-3). On July 13, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in her case. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs and have consented to the jurisdiction of this Court. ECF Nos. 5, 11-12. This case is now ready for decision.

         2. Applicable Law:

         In 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) (2010); 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 support the Commissioner's decision. See Johnson v. Apfel,240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). As long as there is substantial evidence in the record that supports the Commissioner's decision, the Court may not reverse it simply because substantial evidence exists in the record that would have supported a contrary outcome or because the Court would have decided the case differently. See Haley v. Massanari,258 F.3d 742, 747 (8th Cir. 2001). If, after reviewing the record, it is possible to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.