United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
BILLY CARROL SMITH, JR. PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Billy Carrol Smith, Jr., brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of a decision
of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner) denying his claims for period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) under the provision
of Title II of the Social Security Act (Act). In this
judicial review, the court must determine whether there is
substantial evidence in the administrative record to support
the Commissioner's decision. See 42 U.S.C.
protectively filed his current application for DIB on
September 19, 2013, alleging an inability to work since May
29, 2012, due to problems with his back, neck, and right arm,
diabetes, arthritis, asthma, enlarged prostate, depression,
allergies, numbness in his hands and arms, heel pain,
neuropathy in his feet, irritable bowel syndrome, and
migraines. (Tr. 69, 238, 256-257). An administrative video
hearing was held on January 12, 2015, at which Plaintiff
appeared with counsel and testified in Fayetteville,
Arkansas, and the ALJ presided over the hearing from Fort
Smith, Arkansas. (Tr. 91-120).
written decision dated August 10, 2015, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had an impairment
or combination of impairments that were severe. (Tr. 65).
Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: musculoskeletal disorder (back disorder,
degenerative disc disease) (7240); endocrine disorder
(diabetes mellitus with peripheral neuropathy) (2500/3570);
special/other disorder (obesity) (2780); respiratory
disorders (asthma) (4930) and (sleep apnea) (7800); and
mental disorders (mood/affective disorders, depression,
anxiety) (2780/3000). However, after reviewing all of the
evidence presented, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff's
impairments did not meet or equal the level of severity of
any impairment listed in the Listing of Impairments found in
Appendix I, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4. (Tr. 66-68). The ALJ
found Plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity
perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a)
except as follows: The claimant can frequently lift and/or
carry less than ten pounds, and occasionally ten pounds, sit
for a total of six hours in an eight hour workday, and stand
and/or walk for a total of at least two hours in an eight
hour workday. The claimant can occasionally climb ramps or
stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The claimant
must avoid hazards and concentrated exposure to pulmonary
irritants. The claimant can perform simple, routine, and
repetitive tasks in a setting where interpersonal contact is
incidental to the work performed, and can respond to
supervision that is simple, direct, and concrete.
(Tr. 68). With the help of a vocational expert, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff could perform work as a circuit board
inspector, addressing clerk, and document preparation clerk.
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which denied that request on August 26,
2016. (Tr. 1-7). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action.
(Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 6). Both parties have filed
appeal briefs, and the case is now ready for decision. (Docs.
Court's role is to determine whether the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole. Ramirez v.
Barnhart, 292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial
evidence is less than a preponderance but it is enough that a
reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. The ALJ's decision must be
affirmed if the record contains substantial evidence to
support it. Edwards v. Barnhart, 314 F.3d 964, 966
(8th Cir. 2003). 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. Haley v. Massanari, 258 F.3d 742, 747
(8th Cir. 2001). In other words, if after reviewing the
record it is possible to draw two inconsistent positions from
the evidence and one of those positions represents the
findings of the ALJ, the decision of the ALJ must be
affirmed. Young v. Apfel, 221 F.3d 1065, 1068 (8th
Court has reviewed the entire transcript and the parties'
briefs. For the reasons stated in the ALJ's well-reasoned
opinion and the Government's brief, the Court finds
Plaintiff's arguments on appeal to be without merit and
finds that the record as a whole reflects substantial
evidence to support the ALJ's decision. Accordingly, the
ALJ's decision is hereby summarily affirmed and
Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
See Sledge v. Astrue, No. 08-0089, 2008 WL ...