United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge J. Leon Holmes. 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.
Carrie Marie Wright, applied for disability benefits on May
12, 2015, alleging a disability onset date of July 1, 2014.
(Tr. at 20). After conducting a hearing, the Administrative
Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied her application. (Tr. at
34). The Appeals Council denied her request for review. (Tr.
at 1). Thus, the ALJ's decision now stands as the final
decision of the Commissioner.
reasons stated below, this Court should reverse the ALJ's
decision and remand for further review.
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Wright had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date of July 1, 2014. (Tr.
at 22). At Step Two, the ALJ found that Wright has the
following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease,
thyroid disorder, anxiety, and depression. (Tr. at 23).
finding that Wright's impairments did not meet or equal a
listed impairment (Tr. at 23), the ALJ determined that Wright
had the residual functional capacity (“RFC') to
perform the full range of sedentary work, except that: (1)
she could only occasionally stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl;
(2) she could not do any heavy pushing or pulling; (3) she
could perform simple, routine tasks with occasional changes
in the routine work setting; and (4) she could have only
incidental interpersonal contact with the general public,
meaning a limited amount of meeting and greeting with no
sales or solicitations. (Tr. at 25).
found that, based on Wright's RFC, she was unable to
perform any past relevant work. (Tr. at 32). However, relying
upon the testimony of the Vocational Expert
(“VE”), the ALJ found that, based on Wright's
age, education, work experience and RFC, jobs existed in
significant numbers in the national economy that she could
perform, including positions as a final assembler of optical
goods and toy stuffer. (Tr. at 33). Thus, the ALJ concluded
that Wright was not disabled. Id.
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 ...