United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Serafin (“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 application for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and a period of
disability under Title II of the Act.
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. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed his DIB application on February 19, 2015.
(Tr. 10). In his application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to bipolar disorder, delusions, anxiety,
hyperactivity, panic attacks, paranoia, and psychotic issues.
(Tr. 231). At the administrative hearing in this matter, the
ALJ also discussed Plaintiff's carpal tunnel syndrome and
peripheral neuropathy. (Tr. 37). Plaintiff alleged an onset
date of November 15, 2012. (Tr. 10). This application was
denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr.
Plaintiff's application was denied, Plaintiff requested
an administrative hearing on his application, and this
hearing request was granted. (Tr. 27-85). Thereafter, on July
7, 2016, the SSA held an administrative hearing on
Plaintiff's application. (Tr. 27-85). At this hearing,
Plaintiff was present and was represented by Shannon Muse
Carroll. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Stephanie Ford testified at this hearing.
August 11, 2016, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (Tr. 7-22). The ALJ found Plaintiff last met the
insured status requirements of the Act on March 31, 2015.
(Tr. 12, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff did not
engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”)
from his alleged onset date of November 15, 2012 through his
date last insured of March 31, 2015. (Tr. 12, Finding 2).
Through his date last insured, Plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder.
(Tr. 12, Finding 3).
also determined Plaintiff's 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. 12-14, Finding 4). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff was fifty-three (53) years old, which is
defined as an “individual closely approaching advanced
age” pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008),
on his date last insured. (Tr. 21, Finding 7). As for his
education, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had at least a high
school education and was able to communicate in English. (Tr.
21, Finding 8).
then evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and
assessed his Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 14-20, Finding 5). After assessing
his subjective complaints, the ALJ determined his allegations
were not entirely credible and found he retained the
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the
claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform
unskilled work at all exertional levels. He is limited to
work where interpersonal contact is only incidental to the
work performed; tasks need to be learned by rote; contain few
variables and require little judgment; any necessary
supervision would need to be simple, direct, and concrete.
Id. The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's Past
Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 20-21, Finding 6).
Considering his RFC, the ALJ determined that, through his
date last insured, Plaintiff could not perform any of his
also considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 21-22, 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
occupations: dishwasher (medium, unskilled) with
approximately 276, 000 such jobs in the national economy and
housekeeper (light, unskilled) with approximately 137, 000
such jobs in the national economy. Id. Based upon
this finding, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under
a disability, as defined in the Act, from November 15, 2012
(alleged onset date) through March 31, 2015 (Plaintiff's
date last insured). (Tr. 22, Finding 11).
Plaintiff requested the review of the Appeals Council. On
July 20, 2017, the Appeals Council denied this request for
review. (Tr. 1-3). On August 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed his
Complaint in this matter. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to
the jurisdiction of this Court on August 15, 2017. ECF No. 7.
Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 14-15. This
case is now ready for decision.