United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Geannie Henderson, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of a decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner) denying her claims for a period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental
security income (SSI) benefits under the provisions of Titles
II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). In this judicial
review, the Court must determine whether there is substantial
evidence in the administrative record to support the
Commissioner's decision. See 42 U.S.C. §
protectively filed her current applications for DIB and SSI
on April 4, 2013, alleging an inability to work since April
14, 2012, due to coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD), a constricted airway, restless leg
syndrome, acid reflux, and depression. (Doc. 10, pp. 81, 190,
197). For DIB purposes, Plaintiff maintained insured status
through September 30, 2013. (Doc. 10, pp. 17, 212). An
administrative video hearing was held on April 14, 2014, at
which Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified. (Doc.
10, pp. 32-54).
written decision dated September 2, 2014, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had an impairment
or combination of impairments that were severe. (Doc. 10, p.
18). Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff had the following
severe impairment(s): ischemic heart disease. However, after
reviewing all of the evidence presented, the ALJ determined
that Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or equal the
level of severity of any impairment listed in the Listing of
Impairments found in Appendix I, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4.
(Doc. 10, p. 19). The ALJ found Plaintiff retained the
residual functional capacity
perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and
416.967(a) except the claimant can only occasionally climb,
balance, kneel, stoop, crouch, and crawl; and the claimant
can only occasionally perform overhead work.
(Doc. 10, p. 19). With the help of a vocational expert, the
ALJ determined Plaintiff could perform work as a
polisher-eyeglass frames and an addresser. (Doc. 10, p. 25).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which denied that request on January 15,
2016. (Doc. 10, pp. 5-10). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this
action. (Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned
pursuant to the consent of the parties.
6). Both parties have filed appeal briefs, and the case is
now ready for decision. (Docs. 11, 12).
Court has reviewed the entire transcript. The complete set of
facts and arguments are presented in the parties' briefs,
and are repeated here only to the extent necessary.
Court's role is to determine whether the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole. Ramirez v.
Barnhart, 292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial
evidence is less than a preponderance but it is enough that a
reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. The ALJ's decision must be
affirmed if the record contains substantial evidence to
support it. Edwards v. Barnhart, 314 F.3d 964, 966
(8th Cir. 2003). 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. Haley v. Massanari, 258 F.3d 742, 747
(8th Cir. 2001). In other words, if after reviewing the
record it is possible to draw two inconsistent positions from
the evidence and one of those positions represents the
findings of the ALJ, the decision of the ALJ must be
affirmed. Young v. Apfel, 221 F.3d 1065, 1068 (8th
well-established that a claimant for Social Security
disability benefits has the burden of proving her disability
by establishing a physical or mental disability that has
lasted at least one year and that prevents her from engaging
in any substantial gainful activity. Pearsall v.
Massanari, 274 F.3d 1211, 1217 (8th Cir.2001); see
also 42 U.S.C. § § 423(d)(1)(A), 1382c
(a)(3)(A). The Act defines “physical or mental
impairment” as “an impairment that results from
anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities
which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and
laboratory diagnostic ...