Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Stowers v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division

July 5, 2018

GOLDEN R. STOWERS PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, performing the duties and functions not reserved to the Commissioner of Social Security DEFENDANT

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          JOE J. VOLPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INSTRUCTIONS

         This recommended disposition has been submitted to United States District Judge J. Leon Holmes. The parties may file specific objections to these findings and recommendations and must provide the factual or legal basis for each objection. The objections must be filed with the Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendations. A copy must be served on the opposing party. The district judge, even in the absence of objections, may reject these proposed findings and recommendations in whole or in part.

         RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         Golden Stowers, Plaintiff, has appealed the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration to deny his claim for disability insurance benefits. The Appeals Council remanded this case and, after remand, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) concluded Plaintiff had not been under a disability within the meaning of the Social Security Act, because jobs existed in significant numbers he could perform despite his impairments. (Tr. 18-31.)

         This review function is extremely limited. A 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 to analyze whether Plaintiff was denied benefits due to legal error. Long v. Chater, 108 F.3d 185, 187 (8th Cir. 1997); see also, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971); Reynolds v. Chater, 82 F.3d 254, 257 (8th Cir. 1996).

         In assessing the substantiality of the evidence, courts must consider evidence that detracts from the Commissioner's decision as well as evidence that supports it; a court may not, however, reverse the Commissioner's decision merely because substantial evidence would have supported an opposite decision. Woolf v. Shalala, 3 F.3d 1210, 1213 (8th Cir. 1993).

         The history of the administrative proceedings and the statement of facts relevant to this decision are contained in the respective briefs and are not in serious dispute. Therefore, they will not be repeated in this opinion except as necessary. After careful review of the pleadings and evidence in this case, I find the Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial evidence and recommend that Plaintiff's Complaint be DISMISSED.

         Plaintiff is young. He just turned thirty-nine years old. (Tr. 130.) He is a high school graduate but the record is unclear if he attended special education classes. (Tr. 482.) He has past relevant work as a boilermaker and deck hand. (Tr. 29.)

         The ALJ[1] found Mr. Stowers had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 1, 2012 - the alleged onset date. (Tr. 20.) The ALJ found he has “severe” impairments in the form of degenerative disc disease, obesity, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse disorder. (Tr. 20.) The ALJ further found Mr. Stowers did not have an impairment or combination of impairments meeting or equaling an impairment listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.[2] (Tr. 21-22.)

         The ALJ determined Mr. Stowers had the residual functional capacity to perform a reduced range of light work. (Tr. 22-23.) Based on this finding, the ALJ concluded Plaintiff could no longer perform his past work. (Tr. 29.) He utilized the services of a vocational expert to determine if other jobs existed in significant numbers that Plaintiff could perform despite his limitations. (Tr. 117-126.) Given the testimony of the vocational expert, the ALJ determined Mr. Stowers could perform the jobs of garment bagger and price tagger. (Tr. 30.) Accordingly, the ALJ determined Mr. Stowers was not disabled. (Tr. 30-31.)

         The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for a review of this decision, making his decision the final decision of the Commissioner. (Tr. 1-3.) Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint initiating this appeal. (Doc. No. 2.)

         In support of his Complaint, Mr. Stowers argues the ALJ incorrectly determined his gastrointestinal disorder was not “severe.” (Doc. No. 10 at 17-21.) The ALJ analyzed Mr. Stowers's intestinal disorder, and concluded:

The undersigned finds the claimant's gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) with esophagitis and hiatal hernia and status-post gallbladder surgery to be nonsevere. There is no evidence that the claimant's symptoms are perpetual or would interfere with work activity for a period of not less than 12 months. He reported in January 2016 that his symptoms were controlled with ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.