United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
Tracy Kemper, applied for disability benefits on April 29,
2015, alleging a disability onset date of November 26, 2014.
(Tr. at 12). After conducting a hearing, the Administrative
Law Judge ("ALJ") denied his application. (Tr. at
21). The Appeals Council denied his request for review. (Tr.
at 1). Thus, the ALJ's decision now stands as the final
decision of the Commissioner.
reasons stated below, the Courtaffirms the decision of the
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Kemper had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the amended onset date of March 1, 2016. (Tr.
at 14). At Step Two, the ALJ found that Kemper has the
following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease,
status-post carpal tunnel release, generalized anxiety
disorder, mood disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
finding that Kemper's impairments did not meet or equal a
listed impairment (Tr. at 15), the ALJ determined that Kemper
had the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to
perform sedentary work, except that: (1) he could only
frequently perform handling and fingering duties; and (2) he
is limited to unskilled work consisting of simple, routine,
and repetitive tasks, where the supervision required is
simple, direct, and concrete. (Tr. at 16).
found that, based on Kemper's RFC, he was unable to
perform any past relevant work. (Tr. at 20). However, relying
upon the testimony of a Vocational Expert ("VE"),
the ALJ found that, based on Kemper's age, education,
work experience and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers
in the national economy that he could perform, including
positions as call out operator and small group office clerk.
(Tr. at 21). Thus, the ALJ held that Kemper 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 scrutinizing
"[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 ...