United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Warner (“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. 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 January 3,
2014. (Tr. 61). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to degenerative disc disease from a neck injury,
arthritis, and high blood pressure. (Tr. 144). Plaintiff
alleges an onset date of August 15, 2012. (Tr. 61). Her
application was denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 36-46).
requested an administrative hearing on her denied
application. (Tr. 90-91). This hearing request was granted,
and Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on
September 15, 2015 in Texarkana, Arkansas. (Tr. 9-35). At
this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by
counsel, Greg Giles. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational
Expert (“VE”) Mr. Rowsey testified at this hearing.
Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified she was
forty-seven (47) years old, which is defined as a
“younger person” under 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(c) (2008). (Tr. 14-15). As for her education,
Plaintiff testified she had obtained her GED. (Tr. 14).
November 24, 2015, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's DIB
application. (Tr. 58-70). The ALJ determined Plaintiff last
met the insured status requirements of the Act on June 30,
2015. (Tr. 63, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) from her alleged onset date of August 15,
2012 through her date last insured of June 30, 2015. (Tr. 63,
Finding 2). The ALJ determined, through the date last
insured, Plaintiff had the following severe impairments:
degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine status-post
fusion, degenerative joint disease status-post total
arthroplasty, right wrist fusion status-post remote trauma
and surgery. (Tr. 63, Finding 3). The ALJ determined that,
through her date last insured, 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. 65, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 65-68, Finding 5). First, the ALJ
evaluated Plaintiff' subjective complaints and found they
were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had the following RFC:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the
claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform
sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) except that
she can use either upper extremity occasionally to reach
overhead and would be limited to frequent but not constant
use of the non-dominant right upper extremity for handling
then evaluated Plaintiff's ability to perform to perform
her Past Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 69, Finding
6). Specifically, the ALJ found that, through her date last
insured, Plaintiff was unable to perform any of her PRW. (Tr.
69, Finding 6). The ALJ then determined whether Plaintiff
retained the capacity to perform other work exiting in
significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 69-70,
Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative hearing
regarding this issue. Id.
upon that testimony, the ALJ found Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform the following occupations: (1) escort
vehicle driver (unskilled, sedentary) with 780, 000 such jobs
in the national economy; (2) telephone quotation clerk
(unskilled, sedentary) with 997, 000 such jobs in the
national economy; and (3) document preparer (unskilled,
sedentary) with 2, 800, 000 such jobs in the national
economy. (Tr. 70). 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) at any time
from August 15, 2012 (alleged onset date) through June 30,
2015 (date last insured). (Tr. 70, Finding 11).
sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 8). On November
2, 2016, the Appeals Council denied this request for review.
(Tr. 1-3). On December 12, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint
in this case. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal
briefs and have consented to the jurisdiction of this Court.
ECF No. 5, 13-14. This case is now ready for determination.