United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge Kristine G. Baker. 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.
Trudy Drye, applied for disability benefits on January 13,
2016, alleging a disability onset date of January 1, 2016.
(Tr. at 12). The application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration. Id. After conducting a hearing, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied Ms.
Drye's claim. (Tr. at 23). 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.
Drye has requested judicial review. For the reasons stated
below, the Court should affirm the decision of the
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Ms. Drye had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date of January 1, 2016.
(Tr. at 14). At Step Two of the sequential five-step
analysis, the ALJ found that Ms. Drye had the following
severe impairments: fibromyalgia and migraines. Id.
found that Ms. Drye's impairment did not meet or equal a
listed impairment. (Tr. at 15). Before proceeding to
Step Four, the ALJ determined that Ms. Drye had the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform work at
the light level, but she must avoid jobs requiring constant
stooping, pushing, or pulling. Id.
next found that Ms. Drye was capable of performing her past
relevant work as a clerk. (Tr. at 21). The ALJ made an
alternative finding at Step Five. He relied on the testimony
of a Vocational Expert ("VE") to find that,
considering Ms. Drye's age, education, work experience
and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers in the national
economy that she could perform, such as cashier II and sales
attendant. (Tr. at 22-23). Therefore, the ALJ found that Ms.
Drye 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 ...