United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
DENISE A. REED PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
A. Reed (“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 applications for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”), and period of disability under
Titles II and XVI 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. 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 applications on August 21,
2014. (Tr. 13). In these applications, Plaintiff alleges
being disabled due to tennis elbow (right), high blood
pressure, diabetes, and neuropathy in her feet. (Tr. 252).
Plaintiff alleges an onset date of June 28, 2014. (Tr. 13).
These applications were denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 101-122).
requested an administrative hearing on March 3, 2015. (Tr.
13). This hearing request was granted, and Plaintiff's
administrative hearing was held on July 1, 2015 in Fort
Smith, Arkansas. (Tr. 74-100). At this hearing, Plaintiff was
present and was represented by David Harp. Id.
Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Debra
Steele testified at this hearing. Id. During this
hearing, Plaintiff testified she was forty-six (46) years
old, which is defined as a “younger person” under
20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008). (Tr. 80). As for her
education, Plaintiff testified she completed high school.
February 5, 2016, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
disability applications. (Tr. 10-20). In this decision, the
ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of
the Act through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 15, Finding 1). The
ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial
Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since June 28, 2014, her
alleged onset date. (Tr. 15, Finding 2). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff had the following severe impairments:
Essential hypertension, diabetes mellitus with peripheral
neuropathy, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease of the
lumbar spine status post epidural steroid injections, chronic
low back pain syndrome RLE and epicondylitis status post
surgery (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
(Tr. 15, Finding 3). 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.
16, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 16-20, 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 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 the full range of sedentary
work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a).
then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 20, Finding 6). Specifically, the
ALJ determined Plaintiff's PRW included work as a
telephone solicitor. Id. Considering her RFC and
other vocational factors, the ALJ determined Plaintiff
retained the capacity to perform this PRW. (Tr. 20, Finding
6). As such, because Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform her PRW, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been
under a disability (as defined by the Act) at any time from
June 28, 2014 through the date of his decision or through
February 5, 2016. (Tr. 20, Finding 7).
sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 9). On January
13, 2017, the Appeals Council denied her request for review.
Id. On February 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed her
Complaint in this action. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed
appeal brief and have consented to the ...