United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
KRISTA L. FARMER PLAINTIFF
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DEFENDANT
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to Chief United
States District Judge Brian S. Miller. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objections; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Krista L. Farmer, applied for disability benefits on July 28,
2011, alleging a disability onset date of October 1, 2007.
(Tr. at 14). The application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. Id. After conducting a hearing, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied Ms.
Farmer's claim. (Tr. at 27). The Appeals Council denied
her request for review. (Tr. at 1). The ALJ's decision
now stands as the final decision of the Commissioner, and Ms.
Farmer has requested judicial review.
reasons stated below, the Court should affirm the decision of
The Commissioner=s Decision:
found that Ms. Farmer had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the application date of July 28, 2011. (Tr. at
16). At Step Two of the sequential five-step analysis, the
ALJ found that Ms. Farmer had the following severe
impairments: degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis,
obesity, sleep apnea, anxiety, and an affective disorder.
found that Ms. Farmer's impairments did not meet or equal
a listed impairment. (Tr. at 17). Before proceeding to Step
Four, the ALJ determined that Ms. Farmer had the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform work at
the sedentary level, with some limitations. She could only
occasionally stoop and could never crouch, crawl, or kneel.
(Tr. at 20). She could perform work where the interpersonal
contact is incidental to the work performed, where incidental
is defined as requiring a limited degree of interaction such
as meeting and greeting the public, answering simple
questions, accepting payment, and making change. Id.
The complexity of tasks must be learned by demonstration or
repetition within 30 days, with few variables and little
judgment, and the supervision required is simple, direct, and
next found that Ms. Farmer was unable to perform any past
relevant work. (Tr. at 25). The ALJ relied on the testimony
of a Vocational Expert ("VE") to find that,
considering Ms. Farmer's age, education, work experience
and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers in the national
economy that she could perform, such as document preparer and
lampshade assembler. (Tr. at 26). Therefore, the ALJ
found that Ms. Farmer was not disabled. Id.
Standard of Review
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 whether it is based on
legal error. Miller v. Colvin, 784 F.3d 472, 477
(8th Cir. 2015); see also 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
While “substantial evidence” is that which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion, “substantial evidence on the record as a
whole” requires a court to engage in a more
“[O]ur review is more than an examination of the record
for the existence of substantial evidence in support of the
Commissioner's decision; we also take into account
whatever in the record fairly detracts from that
decision.” Reversal is not warranted, however,
“merely because substantial evidence would have
supported an opposite decision.”
Reed v. Barnhart, 399 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2005)
not the task of this Court to review the evidence and make an
independent decision. Neither is it to reverse the decision
of the ALJ because there is evidence in the record which
contradicts his findings. The test is whether there is
substantial evidence in the record as a whole which supports
the decision of the ALJ. Miller, 784 F.3d at 477.
The Court has ...