United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
McClain (“Plaintiff”) brings this action pursuant
to § 205(g) of Title II of the Social Security Act
(“The Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010),
seeking judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) denying her application for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and a period of
Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate
judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case,
including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final
judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF
No. 5. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed her DIB application on December 5, 2014.
(Tr. 12). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to stroke, heart attack, fibromyalgia,
gastroparesis, and reflux. (Tr. 186). At the administrative
hearing, Plaintiff also alleged being disabled due to
shoulder problems, and Plaintiff has had injections in her
shoulders. (Tr. 34). Plaintiff alleged an onset date of
October 28, 2014. (Tr. 12). This application was denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 65-76).
Plaintiff's application was denied, Plaintiff requested
an administrative hearing on her application, and this
hearing request was granted. (Tr. 30-64). This hearing was
held on June 2, 2006 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Id.
At this hearing, Plaintiff was present an was represented by
counsel. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Stephanie Ford testified at this hearing.
September 28, 2016, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (Tr. 12-25). The ALJ found Plaintiff met the
insured status requirements of the Act through December 31,
2019. (Tr. 14, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since October 28, 2014, her alleged onset
date. (Tr. 14, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: ischemic heart disease,
cerebral vascular accident, fibromyalgia, migraines, and
adjustment disorder with depressed mood. (Tr. 14-15, Finding
also determined Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or
medically equal the requirements of any of the Listings of
Impairments in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Regulations No. 4
(“Listings”). (Tr. 15-17, Finding 4). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff was fifty-two (52) years old, which is
defined as an “individual closely approaching advanced
age” pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008) on
her disability alleged onset date. (Tr. 23, Finding 7). As
for her education, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had at least
a high school education and was able to communicate in
English. (Tr. 24, Finding 8).
then evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and
assessed her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 17-23, Finding 5). After assessing
her subjective complaints, the ALJ determined her allegations
were not entirely credible and found she retained the
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) with the following additional limitations.
She can occasionally reach in all directions, including
overhead, with the left upper extremity; she can never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; and, she can occasionally stoop
and crouch. Mentally, she is limited to simple, routine, and
repetitive tasks and simple, work-related decisions. She is
limited to simple, direct, and concrete supervision as well
as incidental interpersonal contact with coworkers and the
Id. The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's Past
Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 23, Finding 6).
Considering her RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff could not
perform any of her PRW. Id.
also considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 24, Finding 10). The VE testified at
the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.
Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff
retained the capacity to perform the following occupation:
furniture rental clerk (light, unskilled work) with 51, 000
such jobs in the nation. (Tr. 24). Based upon this finding,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability,
as defined in the Act, from October 28, 2014 through the date
of this decision or through September 28, 2016. (Tr. 25,
Plaintiff requested the review of the Appeals Council. On
August 25, 2017, the Appeals Council denied this request for
review. (Tr. 1-3). On September 29, 2017, Plaintiff filed her
Complaint in this matter. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to
the jurisdiction of this Court on October 2, 2017. ECF No. 5.
Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 13, 15. This
case is now ready for decision.