United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
NANCY E. TIDWELL PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
E. Tidwell (“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 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. 4. 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 application on November 14,
2013. (Tr. 18). In this application, Plaintiff alleges she
was disabled due to a degenerative bulging disc in her neck
and lower back, neuropathy in her legs and feet, diabetes,
cervicalgia, back and hip problems, fibromyalgia, and mild
spinal stenosis pain. (Tr. 182). Plaintiff alleges an onset
date of July 23, 2013. (Tr. 18). This application was denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 62-73).
Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on her
application, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr.
34-61, 97). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held
on April 7, 2016 in McAlester, Oklahoma. (Tr. 34-61). At this
hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by
counsel, Greg Giles. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational
Expert (“VE”) Diana Kizer testified. Id.
on May 6, 2016, the ALJ entered a fully unfavorable decision
on Plaintiff's disability application. (Tr. 15-27). In
this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status
requirements of the Act through December 31, 2018. (Tr. 20,
Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not engaged in
Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since July
23, 2013, her alleged onset date. (Tr. 20, Finding 2). The
ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: degenerative disc disease; osteoarthritis; left
shoulder degenerative disc disease; and chronic pain. (Tr.
20-21, Finding 3). The ALJ, however, also determined
Plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled one of the listed
impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
(Tr. 21, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 21-25, Finding 5).
First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined they were not entirely credible.
Id. Second, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained
the RFC for the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) except with occasional climbing of ramps and
stairs; no climbing of ladders, ropes, or scaffolds;
occasional balancing, stooping, and kneeling; no crouching or
crawling; no overhead reaching with her left non-dominant
arm; and she must be allowed to alternately sit and stand
every 20 minutes for the purpose of changing positions, but
without leaving the workstation.
determined Plaintiff was forty-six (46) years old on her
alleged disability onset date. (Tr. 25, Finding 7). Such an
individual is characterized as a “younger
individual” under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008).
Id. The ALJ also determined Plaintiff had at least a
high school education and was able to communicate in English.
(Tr. 25, Finding 8).
evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and determined she was unable to perform
any of her PRW. (Tr. 25, Finding 6). The ALJ did, however,
determine Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other
work existing in significant numbers in the national economy.
(Tr. 25-26, Finding 10). The VE testified at the
administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.
Based upon that testimony, the ALJ found Plaintiff retained
the capacity to perform unskilled, light work such as the
following: (1) information clerk with approximately 53, 000
such jobs nationally; and (2) food cashier with approximately
70, 000 such jobs nationally. Id. Because Plaintiff
retained the capacity to perform this other work, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as
defined by the Act, from July 23, 2013 through the date of
his decision or through May 11, 2016. (Tr. 26, Finding 11).
requested that the Appeals Council's review the ALJ's
unfavorable disability determination. (Tr. 1-3). The Appeals
Council denied that request. Id. On August 30, 2017,
Plaintiff filed the present appeal. ECF No. 1. The Parties
consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on August 30,
2017. ECF No. 4. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF
Nos. 9-10. This case is now ready for decision.