United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
BARRY A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Elma Bush (“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 applications for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”), and a period of disability under
Titles II and XVI 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. 6. 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 applications on February
26, 2014. (Tr. 42). In his applications, Plaintiff alleges
being disabled due to lower back and neck injuries, dyslexia,
and diabetes. (Tr. 291). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of
January 31, 2014. (Tr. 42). These applications were denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 107-156).
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on September 4,
2014. (Tr. 188-189). The ALJ granted that request and held an
administrative hearing on March 12, 2015 in Fort Smith,
Arkansas. Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff was present
and was represented by Ivan Gibbons. Id. Plaintiff,
a witness for Plaintiff, Vocational Expert (“VE”)
Debra Steele testified at this hearing. Id.
this hearing, on July 2, 2015, the ALJ entered an unfavorable
decision denying Plaintiff's disability applications.
(Tr. 39-51). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through December
31, 2018. (Tr. 44, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since January 31, 2014, his alleged onset
date. (Tr. 44, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: osteoarthritis,
degenerative disc disease, diabetes mellitus, and organic
mental disorder. (Tr. 44, 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 Regulations No. 4
(“Listings”). (Tr. 44-46, Finding 4).
determined Plaintiff was forty-nine (49) years old on his
allege disability onset date, which is defined as a
“younger individual.” (Tr. 49, Finding 7). As for
his level of education, the ALJ determined he had at least a
high school education and was able to communicate in English.
(Tr. 49, Finding 8).
then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 46-49, 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 the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform reduced light work as defined
in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) with the following
limitations: lift/carry 10 pounds frequently and 20 pounds
occasionally; sit/stand/walk 6 hours in an 8 hour workday;
occasionally stoop, crouch, crawl, climb, balance, kneel;
occasionally reach overhead bilaterally; can do simple,
routine, repetitive tasks in a setting where interpersonal
contact is incidental to the work performed; can respond to
supervision that is simple, direct, and concrete.
then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and found Plaintiff was unable to perform
his PRW. (Tr. 49, Finding 6). The ALJ also considered whether
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work
existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr.
50-51, Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative
hearing regarding this issue. Id.
upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained
the capacity to perform occupations such as the following:
(1) air purifier servicer with 1, 150 such jobs in Arkansas
and 139, 760 such jobs in the United States; (2) laundry
worker with 3, 270 such jobs in Arkansas and 391, 650 such
jobs in the United States; and (3) account representative
“of sandwich board carrier” with 108 such jobs in
Arkansas and 15, 160 such jobs in the United States. (Tr.
50-51, Finding 10). 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
January 31, 2015 (alleged disability onset date) through July
2, 2015 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 56, Finding 11).
Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council. (Tr.
1-3). On July 12, 2016, the Appeals Council denied this
request. Id. On August 19, 2016, Plaintiff filed the
present appeal with the Court. ECF No. 1. The Parties
consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on August 23,
2016. ECF No. 6. ...