United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
DAWN M. KOTLOWSKI PLAINTIFF
NANCYABERRYHILL,  Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Dawn M. Kotlowski, 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) under the provisions
of Title II 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. § 405(g).
protectively filed her current application for DIB on June
25, 2013, alleging an inability to work since October 1,
2011, due to vision loss. (Tr. 76, 146). An administrative
hearing was held on October 28, 2014, at which Plaintiff
appeared with counsel and testified. (Tr. 27-74).
written decision dated July 24, 2015, the ALT found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had an impairment
or combination of impairments that were severe. (Tr. 10).
Specifically, the ALT found Plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: left eye blindness due to optic neuritis,
probable multiple sclerosis, depression, adjustment disorder
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. (Tr. 11). The ALJ found Plaintiff retained
the residual functional capacity (RFC) to:
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except
the claimant cannot climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds. She
must avoid concentrated exposure to hazards including no
driving as part of work but she can avoid normal hazards in
the workplace. She cannot perform jobs that require depth
perception, field of vision or more than occasional
accommodation. The claimant is able to perform work where
interpersonal contact is incidental to the work performed,
the complexity of tasks is learned and performed by rote with
few variables and little use of judgment, and the supervision
required is simple, direct and concrete.
(Tr. 12). With the help of a vocational expert, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff could perform work as a housekeeper, and
a price marker. (Tr. 20).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which denied that request on July 12, 2016.
(Tr. 1-3). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action. (Doc.
1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 6). Both parties have filed
appeal briefs, and the case is now ready for decision. (Docs.
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
Court has reviewed the entire transcript and the parties'
briefs. For the reasons stated in the ALJ's well-reasoned
opinion and the Government's brief, the Court finds
Plaintiffs arguments on appeal to be without merit and finds
that the record as a whole reflects substantial evidence to
support the ALJ's decision. Accordingly, the ALJ's
decision is hereby summarily affirmed and Plaintiffs
Complaint is dismissed with prejudice. See Sledge v.
Astrue, No. 08-0089, 2008 WL 4816675 (W.D. Mo. Oct. 31,
2008) (summarily affirming ALJ's denial of disability
benefits), affd, 364 Fed.Appx. 307 (8th Cir. 2010).
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED
Nancy A. Berry hill, has been appointed
to serve as acting Commissioner of Social Security, and is
substituted as Defendant, pursuant to Rule 25(d)(1) of the