United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge Brian S. Miller. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objections; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Harry Russell Pennington, applied for supplemental security
income benefits on September 21, 2013, alleging a disability
onset date of September 6, 2013 (Tr. at 34). After conducting
a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
denied his application. (Tr. at 46). The Appeals Council
denied his request for review. (Tr. at 1). The ALJ's
decision now stands as the final decision of the
Commissioner. Pennington has requested judicial review.
reasons stated below, the Commissioner's decision should
The Commissioner=s Decision:
found that Pennington had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the application date of September 21, 2013.
(Tr. at 36). At Step Two, the ALJ found that Pennington has
the following severe impairments: post-history rib fracture,
skull fracture (orbital fracture), and history of heel spur.
finding that Pennington's impairment did not meet or
equal a listed impairment (Tr. at 36), the ALJ determined
that Pennington had the residual functional capacity (ARFC@)
to perform the full range of light work, except that he would
be limited to frequent stooping, crouching, bending,
kneeling, crawling, and balancing. (Tr. at 37).
Nonexertionally, he could perform work which is simple,
routine, and repetitive, with supervision that is simple,
direct, and concrete. Id.
found that Pennington was unable to perform past relevant
work. (Tr. at 44). At Step Five, the ALJ relied on the
testimony of a Vocational Expert ("VE") to find
that, based on Pennington's age, education, work
experience and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers in
the national economy that he could perform, specifically
janitorial cleaner and cafeteria attendant. (Tr. at 45).
Consequently, the ALJ found that Pennington was not disabled.
Standard of Review
Court's function on review is to determine whether the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole and whether it is based on
legal error. Miller v. Colvin, 784 F.3d 472, 477
(8th Cir. 2015); see also 42 U.S.C. §
405(g). While “substantial evidence” is that
which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion, “substantial evidence on the record as a
whole” requires a court to engage in a more
“[O]ur review is more than an examination of the record
for the existence of substantial evidence in support of the
Commissioner's decision; we also take into account
whatever in the record fairly detracts from that
decision.” Reversal is not warranted, however,
“merely because substantial evidence would have
supported an opposite decision.”
Reed v. Barnhart, 399 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2005)
not the task of this Court to review the evidence and make an
independent decision. Neither is it to reverse the decision
of the ALJ because there is evidence in the record which
contradicts his findings. The test is whether there is
substantial evidence in the ...