United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
Procedures for filing Objections:
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. Any party may file
written objections to this Recommendation. Objections should
be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for
considered, objections must be received in the office of the
Court Clerk within 14 days of this Recommendation. If no
objections are filed, Judge Marshall can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By
not objecting, parties may waive the right to appeal
questions of fact.
September 20, 2014, Crissie Lee Medlin applied for disability
benefits, alleging an onset date of May 1, 2012. (Tr. at 21)
Ms. Medlin's claims were denied initially and upon
reconsideration. Id. After conducting a hearing, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied Ms.
Medlin's application. (Tr. at 33) Ms. Medlin requested
that the Appeals Council review the ALJ's decision, but
that request was denied. (Tr. at 1) Therefore, the ALJ's
decision now stands as the final decision of the
Commissioner. Ms. Medlin filed this case seeking judicial
review of the decision denying her benefits.
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Ms. Medlin had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date of May 1, 2012. (Tr. at
23) At step two of the five-step analysis, he found that Ms.
Medlin had the following severe impairments: borderline
intellectual functioning and anxiety disorder. Id.
finding that Ms. Medlin's impairments did not meet or
equal a listed impairment (Tr. at 24), the ALJ determined
that Ms. Medlin had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform work at all exertional levels,
with some mental limitations. (Tr. at 25) She could perform
only unskilled work, where interpersonal contact is
incidental to the work performed, the complexity of tasks is
learned and performed by rote, involves few variables, and
requires little independent judgment. Id. The
supervision required is simple, direct, and concrete.
Id. Ms. Medlin could not perform any work requiring
that she make change, such as cashier or food server.
found that Ms. Medlin was capable of performing her past
relevant work as a bagger (Tr. at 31), but made an alternate
finding at step five. Id. Relying on the testimony
of a Vocational Expert (“VE”), the ALJ found
that, based on Ms. Medlin's age, education, work
experience and RFC, she was capable of performing work in the
national economy as poultry dresser and housekeeper/cleaner.
(Tr. at 33) The ALJ concluded, therefore, that Ms. Medlin was
not disabled. Id.
Standard of Review
Court's role in reviewing an unfavorable decision by the
Commissioner is to determine whether the decision is
supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole.
Prosch v. Apfel, 201 F.3d 1010, 1012 (8th Cir.
2000). “Substantial evidence” in this context
means “enough that a reasonable mind would find it
adequate to support the ALJ's decision.”
Slusser v. Astrue, 557 F.3d 923, 925 (8th Cir. 2009)
(citation omitted). In reviewing the decision, the Court must
consider not only evidence that supports the
Commissioner's decision, but also evidence that supports
a contrary outcome. The Court cannot reverse, however, just
because there was sufficient evidence to support a different
decision. Long v. Chater, 108 F.3d 185, 187 (8th
Cir. 1997) (quoting Johnson v. Chater, 87 F.3d 1015,
1017 (8th Cir. 1996)).
Medlin's Arguments on Appeal
Medlin argues that substantial evidence does not support the
ALJ's decision to deny benefits because the ALJ should
have found that she met Listing 12.05. Ms. Medlin underwent
an intelligence examination in August of 2013, administered
by Sam Boyd, Ph.D., ...