Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Amerson v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division

October 31, 2017

LISA DELAINE AMERSON PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Lisa 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.

         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. 7.[1] Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.

         1. Background:

         Plaintiff 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).

         Thereafter, 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).

         After 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).

         The ALJ 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.

Id.

         The ALJ 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.

         Based 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, Finding 11).

         Thereafter, 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.

         2. Ap ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.