United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Lynne Harvey (“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 application for Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of 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. 9. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed her disability application on July 6,
2011. (Tr. 11, 105-115). In her application, Plaintiff
alleges being disabled due to depression, anxiety attacks,
obesity, insomnia, and knee problems. (Tr. 129). Plaintiff
alleges an onset date of September 1, 2006. (Tr. 11). This
application was denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 44-45).
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her denied
application. (Tr. 59- 60). The ALJ granted that request and
held an administrative hearing in Hot Springs, Arkansas on
September 13, 2012. (Tr. 25-43). At this hearing, Plaintiff
was present and was represented by Hans Pullen. Id.
Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) testified
at this hearing. Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff
testified she was fort-six (46) years old, which is defined
as a “younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
416.963(e) (2008). (Tr. 30). As for her level of education,
Plaintiff testified she had graduated from high school. (Tr.
this hearing, on November 26, 2012, the ALJ entered an
unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's SSI application.
(Tr. 8-20). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff had not
engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”)
since July 6, 2011, her application date. (Tr. 13, Finding
1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: osteoarthritis of the hip, back disorder, morbid
obesity, and mood disorder. (Tr. 13, Finding 2). 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
Regulations No. 4 (“Listings”). (Tr. 13-15,
considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 15-19, Finding 4). 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 RFC to
perform the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 416.967(a). However, she is able to only occasionally
climb stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl and
should never climb ladders. Further, the claimant cannot
sustain work without the option to sit or stand at will. She
is able to perform work where interpersonal contact is
incidental to the work being performed; where the complexity
of a task is learned and performed by rote, with few
variables, and with little judgment; and, she is able to work
where supervision required is simple, direct and concrete.
then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and found Plaintiff had no PRW. (Tr. 19,
Finding 5). The ALJ also considered whether Plaintiff
retained the capacity to perform other work existing in
significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 19-20,
Finding 9). The VE testified at the administrative hearing
regarding this issue. Id.
upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained
the capacity to perform an occupation such as the following:
assembler (sedentary) with 1, 000 such jobs in the region and
60, 000 such jobs in the nation. (Tr. 19-20). Because
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this other work,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability,
as defined in the Act, from July 6, 2011 (application date)
through November 26, 2012 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 20,
Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council. (Tr.
1-3). On November 21, 2013, the Appeals Council denied this
request. (Tr. 1-3). On August 12, 2016, Plaintiff filed the
current appeal. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the
jurisdiction of this Court on August 30, 2016. ECF No. 9.
Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 12-13. This
case is ripe for determination.