United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Lee Ellen Hogue (“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 Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”), Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”), and 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. 5. 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 applications on November
13, 2013 (DIB) and on January 22, 2014 (SSI). (Tr. 120). In
these applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to
fibromyalgia, an enlarged heart, sleep apnea, high
cholesterol, osteoporosis in her neck and left hip, being
flat footed, carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, joint
stiffness in her fingers, nervousness, depression, migraines,
anxiety and stress, light sensitivity, “sinking ear
drums, ” vertigo, fatigue, hearing loss. (Tr. 336).
Plaintiff alleges an onset date of October 21, 2013. (Tr.
120). Her applications were denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 166-227).
requested an administrative hearing on her denied
applications. (Tr. 250-251). This request was granted, and
Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on September
17, 2015 in Alexandria, Louisiana. (Tr. 117-119). At this
hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by Mary
Thomason. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Thomas D. Magall 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) (DIB) and 20 C.F.R. § 416.965(c)
(SSI). (Tr. 142). As for her education, Plaintiff testified
she had completed high school. (Tr. 144).
October 20, 2015, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
applications. (Tr. 117-133). The ALJ determined Plaintiff met
the insured status requirements of the Act through December
31, 2018. (Tr. 122, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since October 21, 2013, her alleged onset
date. (Tr. 122, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: fibromyalgia, osteoporosis,
early degenerative changes of the left knee, osteoarthritis,
rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis of the right wrist,
degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine, degenerative
joint disease of the shoulders, hyperthyroidism, obesity,
panic disorder, major depressive disorder, and borderline
personality disorder. (Tr. 122-123, 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. 123-126, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 126-131, 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:
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
CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except she is able to perform
no other-the-shoulder work and is unable to work around
hazards; she is able to perform the mental demands of work
that is not complex and that requires only occasional
interaction with the general public.
evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and found Plaintiff did not retain the
capacity to perform any of her PRW. (Tr. 131, Finding 6). The
ALJ then considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity
to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 132, Finding 10). The VE testified at
the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.
upon this testimony and considering his RFC, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the
following medium, unskilled occupations: (1) office helper
(light, unskilled) with 10, 942 such jobs in the national
economy and (2) light housekeeping cleaner (light, unskilled)
with 229, 918 such jobs in the national economy. (Tr. 132).
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, at any time from October
21, 2013 through the date of his decision or through October
20, 2015. (Tr. 133, Finding 11).
sought review with the Appeals Council. On August 26, 2016,
the Appeals Council denied her request for review. (Tr. 1-3).
On September 16, 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,
13-14. This case is now ready for determination.