United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
BARRY A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Lee Chase (“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 his application for a period of
disability and Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) under Title II of 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. 8. Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this
memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment
in this matter.
13, 2013, Plaintiff protectively filed his disability
application. (Tr. 144, 284-285). In this application,
Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to “severe
headaches, confusion, can't concentrate, ” and
manic depression. (Tr. 319). Plaintiff alleges an onset date
of May 25, 2012. (Tr. 144). This application was denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 192-222).
requested an administrative hearing on March 12, 2014. (Tr.
232-233). This request was granted, and Plaintiff's
administrative hearing was held on October 22, 2014 in El
Dorado, Arkansas. (Tr. 160-191). At this hearing, Plaintiff
was present and was represented by Michael Ray. Id.
Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Mack Welch
testified at this hearing. Id. During this hearing,
Plaintiff testified he was fifty-one (51) years old, which is
defined as a “person closely approaching advanced
age” under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(d) (2008) (DIB).
(Tr. 165). As for his education, Plaintiff testified he had
completed the twelfth grade in high school. Id.
March 30, 2015, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (Tr. 144-153). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through December
31, 2017. (Tr. 146, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since May 25, 2012, his alleged onset
date. (Tr. 146, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: bilateral knee pain,
history of blood clots in his lungs, and depression. (Tr.
146, 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.
146-148, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined his Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 148-152, 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 capacity to
perform the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
Id. “Light work” is defined as follows:
(b) Light work. Light work involves lifting no more than 20
pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects
weighing up to 10 pounds. Even though the weight lifted may
be very little, a job is in this category when it requires a
good deal of walking or standing, or when it involves sitting
most of the time with some pushing and pulling of arm or leg
controls. To be considered capable of performing a full or
wide range of light work, you must have the ability to do
substantially all of these activities. If someone can do
light work, we determine that he or she can also do sedentary
work, unless there are additional limiting factors such as
loss of fine dexterity or inability to sit for long periods
20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b).
evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and found Plaintiff did not retain the
capacity to perform any of his PRW. (Tr. 152, Finding 6). The
ALJ then considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity
to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 152-153, Finding 10). The VE testified
at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. (Tr.
152-153). Based upon this testimony, the ALJ determined
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following
occupations:(1) poultry line worker (unskilled, light) (3,
500 such jobs in Arkansas and 200, 000 such jobs in the
nation); and (2) small product assembly (unskilled, light)
(4, 700 such jobs in Arkansas and 200, 000 such jobs in the
nation). 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 May
25, 2012 through the date of the ALJ's decision or
through March 30, 2015. (Tr. 153, Finding 11).
sought review with the Appeals Council. On May 27, 2016, the
Appeals Council denied his request for review. (Tr. 1-3). On
July 25, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in his case. ECF
No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs and have
consented to the ...