United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Rushing (“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 her applications for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”), and a period of disability under
Titles II and XVI 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. 8. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed her disability applications on June 26,
2014. (Tr. 14). In these applications, Plaintiff alleges
being disabled due to degenerative disc disease, respiratory
problems, and polyarthritis. (Tr. 250). Plaintiff alleged an
onset date February 28, 2013. (Tr. 14). Plaintiff later
amended that alleged onset date to October 1, 2013.
Id. These applications were denied initially and
again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 71-113).
Plaintiff's applications were denied, Plaintiff requested
an administrative hearing on these applications, and this
hearing request was granted. (Tr. 36-70). Thereafter, on
September 24, 2015, the SSA held an administrative hearing on
Plaintiff's applications in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was
represented by Mark Chadick. Id. Plaintiff and
Vocational Expert (“VE”) Harris Rowsey testified
at this hearing. Id.
February 25, 2016, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
applications. (Tr. 11-23). The ALJ found Plaintiff met the
insured status requirements of the Act through June 30, 2018.
(Tr. 16, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff did not
engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”)
since October 1, 2013, her amended alleged onset date. (Tr.
16, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the
following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease,
obesity, COPD, bronchitis, and osteoarthritis. (Tr. 16-17,
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. 17-18, Finding 4). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff was thirty-one (31) years old, which is
defined as a “younger individual” pursuant to 20
C.F.R. § 416.963(c) (2008) (SSI) and 20 C.F.R. §
404.1563(c) (2008) (DIB). (Tr. 22, Finding 7). As for her
education, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had at least a high
school education and was able to communicate in English. (Tr.
22, Finding 8).
then evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and
assessed her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 18-21, Finding 5). After assessing
her subjective complaints, the ALJ determined her allegations
were not entirely credible and found she retained the
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except the claimant could
not work in extreme cold or heat, or environments where she
is exposed to dust, fumes, gases, odors, and poorly
ventilated work spaces. The claimant could frequently stoop,
crawl, bend, reach, finger, handle and climb stairs and
ramps. She could sit for one hour continuously, then change
position with no work stoppage.
Id. The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's Past
Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 21, Finding 6).
Considering her RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff did not
retain the capacity to perform her PRW. Id.
also considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 22-23, 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
sedentary, unskilled occupations: telephone quotations clerk
with 8, 800 such jobs in the state and 997, 000 such jobs in
the national economy; and assembler with 4, 700 such jobs in
the state and 229, 000 such jobs in the national economy.
Id. Based upon this finding, the ALJ determined
Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the
Act, from October 1, 2013 through the date of her decision or
through March 1, 2016. (Tr. 23, Finding 11).
Plaintiff requested the review of the Appeals Council. On
June 16, 2017, the Appeals Council denied this request for
review. (Tr. 1-3). On August 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed her
Complaint in this matter. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to
the jurisdiction of this Court on August 23, 2017. ECF No. 8.
Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 24-25. This
case is now ready for decision.