United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Davis (“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 Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of 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. 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 June 20,
2013. (Tr. 11). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to knee pain, back pain, high blood pressure,
and pancreatitis. (Tr. 133). Plaintiff alleges an onset date
of July 15, 2008. (Tr. 11). This application was denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 53-65).
requested an administrative hearing on March 19, 2014. (Tr.
91). This request was granted, and Plaintiff's
administrative hearing was held on December 8, 2014 in Hot
Springs, Arkansas. (Tr. 26-52). At this hearing, Plaintiff
was present an was represented by Shannon Muse Carroll.
Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) David Elmore testified at this hearing.
Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified she
fifty-three (53) years old, which is defined as a
“person closely approaching advanced age” under
20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c). (Tr. 31). As for her education,
Plaintiff testified she had completed high school. (Tr. 31).
March 19, 2015, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
SSI application. (Tr. 8-21). In this decision, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful
Activity (“SGA”) since June 20, 2013, her
application date. (Tr. 13, Finding 1). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: lumbar spine
degenerative disc disease, status post discectomy;
pancreatitis; arthropathy, status post left knee total knee
arthroplasty; hypertension and restless leg syndrome. (Tr.
13, Finding 2). The ALJ also determined Plaintiff's
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.
13, Finding 3).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 13-18, Finding 4).
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 capacity to perform the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 416.967(b) except the work could not require climbing
ladders, ropes, scaffolds or kneeling; not more than
occasional performance of each remaining postural function
beyond that (climbing ramps and stairs, balancing, stooping,
crouching, and crawling[)]. Further, the work could not
require foot control operations for the left lower extremity.
her RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff did not retain the
capacity to perform any of her PRW. (Tr. 18, Finding 5). The
ALJ then determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity
to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 19, Finding 9). The VE testified at
the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.
upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained
the capacity to perform the requirements of representative
occupations such as production assembler (light, unskilled)
with 6, 000 such jobs in Arkansas and 180, 000 such jobs in
the nation; and poultry deboner (light, unskilled) with 2,
000 such jobs in Arkansas and 75, 000 such jobs in the
nation. Id. 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 her
application date of June 20, 2013 through the date of the
ALJ's decision or through March 19, 2015. (Tr. 20,
sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 5-7). On
September 23, 2016, the Appeals Council denied her request
for review. (Tr. 1-4). On October 24, 2016, Plaintiff filed
her Complaint in this action. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have
filed appeal briefs and have consented to the jurisdiction of
this Court. ECF Nos. 7, 12-13. This case is now ready for