United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
TAMMY L. SMITH PLAINTIFF
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DEFENDANT
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge Billy Roy Wilson. 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.
Tammy L. Smith, applied for supplemental security income
April 18, 2014, alleging a disability onset date of January
1, 2003. (Tr. at 34). The application was denied initially
and upon reconsideration Id. After conducting a
hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
denied Ms. Smith's claim. (Tr. at 48). 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. Smith has requested judicial review.
reasons stated below, the Court should affirm the decision of
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Ms. Smith had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the application date of April 18, 2014. (Tr.
at 36). At Step Two of the sequential five-step analysis, the
ALJ found that Ms. Smith had the following severe
impairments: dysfunction of major joints, anxiety disorders,
affective disorders, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Id.
found that Ms. Smith's impairment did not meet or equal a
listed impairment. Id. Before proceeding to Step
Four, the ALJ determined that Ms. Smith had the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform work at
the sedentary level, with some limitations. (Tr. at 38). She
could occasionally lift and carry with her bilateral upper
extremities, and she could frequently handle and finger
bilaterally. Id. She could occasionally climb
ladders, ropes, and stairs, and occasionally balance, stoop,
kneel, crouch, and crawl. Id. She is able to perform
work with simple, repetitive tasks that are learned by rote.
Id. She can have only incidental contact with the
public, co-workers, and supervisors. Id.
next found that Ms. Smith had no past relevant work. (Tr. at
47). The ALJ relied on the testimony of a Vocational Expert
("VE") to find that, considering Ms. Smith's
age, education, work experience and RFC, jobs existed in
significant numbers in the national economy that she could
perform, such as document preparer, addresser, and
inspector/sorter. Id. Therefore, the ALJ found that
Ms. Smith 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 ...