United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Delaine Amerson (“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 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. 7. 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 December 14,
2013. (Tr. 13). In her application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to back problems, diabetes, sleep disorders,
restless leg syndrome, depression, high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, and bladder problems. Id. Plaintiff
alleges an onset date of June 15, 2013. (Tr. 13, 151-158).
This application was denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 58-85).
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on August 5,
2014. (Tr. 95-96). The ALJ granted that request and held an
administrative hearing on October 15, 2015 in El Dorado,
Arkansas. (Tr. 30-57). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present
and was represented by Mary Thomason. Id. Plaintiff
and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Leonard Francois
testified at this hearing. Id. At this
administrative hearing, Plaintiff testified she was
fifty-four (54) years old, which is defined as a
“younger individual” under 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(d) (2008). (Tr. 33). As for her level of education,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff graduated from high school and
went to vocational technical school. (Tr. 34).
this hearing, on November 30, 2015, the ALJ entered an
unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's disability
application. (Tr. 10-25). In this decision, the ALJ found
Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act
through December 31, 2017. (Tr. 15, Finding 1). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful
Activity (“SGA”) since June 15, 2013, her alleged
onset date. (Tr. 15, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had the following severe impairments: degenerative joint
disease, diabetes, restless leg syndrome, and sleep
disorders. (Tr. 15-18, 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. 18, Finding 4).
then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 18-24, 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 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 404.1567(a) except the need to work indoors in a
climate controlled environment; no climbing, balancing, or
even heights; the need to periodically change positions
briefly for comfort (due to restless leg syndrome) but while
do so was able to remain within the work area.
then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and found Plaintiff was unable to perform
her PRW. (Tr. 24, Finding 6). The ALJ also determined whether
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work
existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr.
24-25, 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) telephone solicitor (sedentary, semi-skilled) with 170,
000 such jobs in the national economy and 1, 300 such jobs in
the state economy; (2) appointment clerk (sedentary,
semi-skilled) with 121, 000 such jobs in the national economy
and 1, 000 such jobs in the state economy; and (3)
information clerk (sedentary, semi-skilled) with 96, 000 such
jobs in the national economy and 11, 000 such jobs in the
state economy. (Tr. 25). 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 June 15, 2013 (alleged onset date) through the date
of her decision or through November 30, 2015. (Tr. 25,
Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council. (Tr. 7).
On October 7, 2016, the Appeals Council denied this request.
(Tr. 1-3). On November 1, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present
appeal with the Court. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to
the jurisdiction of this Court on November 9, 2016. ECF No.
7. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 12, 15.
This case is now ripe for determination.