United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michael Chrisman (“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 his application for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and a period of
disability 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 his disability application on October 20,
2014. (Tr. 18). In his application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to cancer, anemia, and complications from
cancer. (Tr. 156). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of April
15, 2005. (Tr. 18). This application was denied initially and
again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 49-76).
requested an administrative hearing on October 27, 2015. (Tr.
81-82). This request was granted, and Plaintiff's
administrative hearing was held on March 21, 2016. (Tr.
30-48). Thereafter, on October 14, 2016, the ALJ entered a
fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (Tr. 15-23). In this decision, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of
the Act through March 31, 2019. (Tr. 20, Finding 1). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) from April of 2005 until December of
2013. (Tr. 20, Finding 2). Thus, the ALJ found the relevant
time period began after December of 2013 when his SGA ceased.
the relevant time-period, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: anemia, malignant neoplasm
of the colon, and malignant neoplasm of the bladder. (Tr. 20,
Finding 4). 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.
21, Finding 5).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined his RFC. (Tr. 21-22, Finding 6).
First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and found his 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 sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) except frequent foot controls; can
frequently be exposed to unprotected heights; can tolerate
moderate noise, like that in a normal office setting.
then considered Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 22, Finding 7). Considering his RFC
and other vocational considerations, the ALJ determined
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform his PRW as a chief
executive officer. (Tr. 22, Finding 7). Because he retained
the capacity to perform this PRW, the ALJ found he was not
under a disability (as defined by the Act) from April 15,
2005 through the date of his decision or through October 19,
2016. (Tr. 22, Finding 8).
requested the Appeals Council's review of this decision.
This request was denied; and on February 23, 2017, Plaintiff
filed his Complaint in this action. ECF No. 1. Both Parties
have filed appeal briefs and have consented to the
jurisdiction of this Court. ECF Nos. 5, 14-15. This case is
now ready for decision.
reviewing this case, this Court is required to determine
whether the Commissioner's findings are supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. See
42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010); Ramirez v. Barnhart,292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial evidence is
less than a preponderance of the evidence, but it is enough
that a reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. See Johnson v. Apfel,240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). 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. See Haley v.
Massanari,258 F.3d 742, 747 (8th Cir. 2001). If, after
reviewing the record, it is possible to ...