United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Candy Stevens, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of a decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner) denying her claims for a period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental
security income (SSI) under the provisions of Titles II and
XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). In this judicial
review, the Court must determine whether there is substantial
evidence in the administrative record to support the
Commissioner's decision. See 42 U.S.C. §
protectively filed her current applications for DIB and SSI
on August 10, 2014, alleging an inability to work since April
13, 2014,  due to sciatic nerve issues, arthritis of
the spine, degenerative disc issues in the low back,
sacroiliitis, and a pinched nerve in the neck. (Tr. 73, 89,
107, 125). For DIB purposes, Plaintiff maintained insured
status through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 73, 107). An
administrative hearing was held on March 16, 2016, at which
Plaintiff and a vocational expert testified. (Tr. 44-70).
written decision dated May 18, 2016, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had severe
impairments of degenerative disc disease L3-4 and L4-5,
spondylosis of the lumbar spine, and anxiety. (Tr. 25).
However, after reviewing all of the evidence presented, the
ALJ determined that Plaintiff's impairment did not meet
or equal the level of severity of any impairment listed in
the Listing of Impairments found in Appendix I, Subpart P,
Regulation No. 4. (Tr. 26). The ALJ found that Plaintiff
retained the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b)
except she is limited to jobs involving simple tasks and
simple instructions, and only incidental contact with the
public. (Tr. 27-34). With the help of a vocational expert
(VE), the ALJ determined that although Plaintiff was unable
to perform her past relevant work, there were jobs that
existed in significant numbers in the national economy that
Plaintiff could perform, such as wrapper/hand packager and
bindery-machine feeder. (Tr. 35).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which denied that request on June 1, 2017.
(Tr. 1-7). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action. (Doc.
1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 7). Both parties have filed
appeal briefs, and the case is now ready for decision. (Docs.
Court's role is to determine whether the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole. Ramirez v.
Barnhart, 292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial
evidence is less than a preponderance but it is enough that a
reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. The ALJ's decision must be
affirmed if the record contains substantial evidence to
support it. Edwards v. Barnhart, 314 F.3d 964, 966
(8th Cir. 2003). As long as there is substantial evidence in
the record that supports the Commissioner's decision, the
Court may not reverse it simply because substantial evidence
exists in the record that would have supported a contrary
outcome, or because the Court would have decided the case
differently. Haley v. Massanari, 258 F.3d 742, 747
(8th Cir. 2001). In other words, if after reviewing the
record it is possible to draw two inconsistent positions from
the evidence and one of those positions represents the
findings of the ALJ, the decision of the ALJ must be
affirmed. Young v. Apfel, 221 F.3d 1065, 1068 (8th
Court has reviewed the entire transcript and the parties'
briefs. For the reasons stated in the ALJ's well-reasoned
opinion and the Government's brief, the Court finds
Plaintiff's arguments on appeal to be without merit and
finds that the record as a whole reflects substantial
evidence to support the ALJ's decision. Accordingly, the
ALJ's decision is hereby summarily affirmed and
Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
See Sledge v. Astrue, No. 08-0089, 2008 WL 4816675
(W.D. Mo. Oct. 31, 2008) (summarily affirming ALJ's
denial of disability benefits), aff'd, 364
Fed.Appx. 307 (8th Cir. 2010).
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED.
 Nancy A. Berryhill, has been appointed
to serve as acting Commissioner of Social Security, and is
substituted as Defendant, pursuant to Rule 25(d)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
 At the March 16, 2016, hearing before
the ALJ, Plaintiff amended her alleged onset date from
January 29, 2014, to April 13, 2014. ...