Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Adams v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

February 26, 2018

DAVID ADAMS PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         David Wayne Adams (“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 applications for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), and a period of disability under Titles II and XVI of the Act.

         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.[1] Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.

         1. Background:

         Plaintiff protectively filed his disability applications on September 6, 2013. (Tr. 11, 177-187). Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to chronic reoccurring left ankle injury, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), and anxiety disorder with panic attacks. (Tr. 17, 38-56, 118, 121, 177-187, 210). Plaintiff alleges an amended onset date of September 1, 2013. (Tr. 11, 37). These applications were denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 68-117).

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied applications. The administrative law judge (“ALJ”) granted that request and held an administrative video hearing on August 28, 2014. (Tr. 33-77). The ALJ presided over the hearing from Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Plaintiff testified in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Id. At the hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by John Miller. Id. Vocational Expert (“VE”) Kola L. Brown also testified at this hearing. Id.

         At this hearing, Plaintiff testified he was forty-two (42) years old, which is defined as a “younger person” under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (DIB) and 20 C.F.R. § 416.963(c) (SSI). (Tr. 36). As for his level of education, Plaintiff testified he completed high school and attended 20 weeks of training to obtain a small engine repair certification. (Tr. 36-37).

         After this hearing, on August 14, 2015, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's applications for SSI and DIB. (Tr. 11-27). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2018. (Tr. 13, Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since September 1, 2013, his amended alleged onset date. (Tr. 13, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: joint disorder of the ankle, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. (Tr. 13, Finding 3). Despite being severe, the ALJ determined these 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. 14-16, Finding 4).

         The ALJ then considered Plaintiff's Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”). (Tr. 16-25, Finding 5). 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 RFC 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) and 416.967(a) except he can lift and carry up to 10 pounds occasionally, sit a total of six hours in an eight-hour workday and stand/walk a total of two hours in an eight-hour workday. The claimant is limited to occasionally stooping, crouching, bending, kneeling, crawling, and balancing. The claimant requires a cane for ambulation but could use the free hand to carry small objects. The claimant would also be limited in the lower left extremity to only occasional use of foot controls. In addition to the above, the work must be unskilled, defined as work which is simple, routine and repetitive with supervision that is simple, direct, and concrete with frequent contact with coworkers and supervisors, but only occasional contact with the general public.

Id.

         The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work (“PRW”) and found Plaintiff is unable to perform his PRW. (Tr. 26, Finding 6). The ALJ also considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 26-27, Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id. Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following: (1) table worker (sedentary, unskilled) with 404, 068 such jobs in the United States and 53, 222 such jobs in Arkansas; (2) lampshade assembler (sedentary, unskilled) with 192, 491such jobs in the United States and 2, 376 such jobs in Arkansas. Id. The VE also answered vocational interrogatories proffered post-hearing and responded that both of these jobs would still be compatible for an individual that required a cane for ambulation, could use the free hand to carry small objects, and the individual would be limited in the lower left extremity to the occasional use of foot controls. (Tr. 267). Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this work, the ALJ also determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from April 15, 2013 through the date of his decision. (Tr. 27, Finding 11).

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested a review by the Appeals Council. (Tr. 7). On August 26, 2016, the Appeals Council denied this request. (Tr. 1-6). On October 26, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present appeal with this Court. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on November 8, 2016. ECF No. 7. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 12, 15. This case is now ripe for determination.

         2. Ap ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.