United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Bill Monts (“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 Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and period of
disability under Title II of the Act for the closed period of
her alleged onset date of May 31, 2013 through March 17,
2015, the date the ALJ found Plaintiff became disabled.
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 application on March 19,
2013. (Tr. 12). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to diabetes and inflammatory osteoarthritis.
(Tr. 230). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of May 31, 2013.
(Tr. 12). Her application was denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 54-84).
requested an administrative hearing on her denied
application. (Tr. 103-104). This hearing request was granted,
and Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on July
13, 2015 in Texarkana, Arkansas. (Tr. 24-53). At this
hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by
counsel, Greg Giles. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational
Expert (“VE”) Mary May testified at this hearing.
Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified she was
fifty-nine (59) years old, which is defined as a
“person of advanced age” under 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(e). (Tr. 30). As for her education, Plaintiff
testified she completed the twelfth grade in school. (Tr.
October 22, 2015, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a partially unfavorable decision denying
Plaintiff's application for the period from May 31, 2013
through March 17, 2015. (Tr. 8-19). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act
through December 31, 2017. (Tr. 14, Finding 1). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful
Activity (“SGA”) since May 31, 2013. (Tr. 14,
Finding 2). The ALJ determined that since her alleged onset
date of disability (May 31, 2013), Plaintiff has had the
following severe impairments: diabetes mellitus;
osteoarthritis; obesity; and hypertension. (Tr. 14-15,
Finding 3). The ALJ determined that, beginning on her
established disability date of March 17, 2015, Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: coronary artery disease,
status post coronary artery bypass graft; diabetes mellitus;
osteoarthritis; obesity; and hypertension. Id.
also determined since her alleged onset date of May 31, 2013,
Plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that 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. 15,
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”), as of her alleged onset date and again
as of March 17, 2015 (the date the ALJ found her to be
disabled). (Tr. 15-16, Findings 5-6). Specifically, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had the following RFC prior to March 17,
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that prior to March 17, 2015, the date the
claimant became disabled, the claimant had the residual
functional capacity to perform the full range of light work
as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b).
Id. The ALJ also found that beginning March 17,
2015, Plaintiff only retained the RFC to perform the full
range of sedentary work. (Tr. 17, Finding 6).
then evaluated Plaintiff's ability to perform her Past
Relevant Work (“PRW”), both prior to and after
March 17, 2015. (Tr. 17-18, Findings 7-8). The ALJ determined
that prior to March 17, 2015, Plaintiff was capable of
performing her PRW as a paraprofessional. (Tr. 17, Finding
7). The ALJ also determined that beginning on March 17, 2015,
Plaintiff's RFC prevented her from being to able to
perform her PRW. (Tr. 18, Finding 8).
upon these findings, the ALJ determined that since March 17,
2015, considering her age, education, work experience, and
RFC, there were no jobs Plaintiff could perform that exist in
significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 18, Finding
12). Thus, the ALJ determined she was disabled after March
17, 2015. Id. However, the ALJ also determined
Plaintiff was not disabled prior to March 17, 2015. (Tr. 18,
sought review with the Appeals Council on November 10, 2015.
(Tr. 5-7). On October 7, 2016, the Appeals Council denied
this request for review. (Tr. 1-3). On November 1, 2016,
Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this case. ECF No. 1. Both
Parties have filed appeal briefs and have consented to the