United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED
VOLPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
recommended disposition has been submitted to United States
District Judge Billy Roy Wilson. The parties may file
specific objections to these findings and recommendations and
must provide the factual or legal basis for each objection.
The objections must be filed with the Clerk no later than
fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and
recommendations. A copy must be served on the opposing party.
The District Judge, even in the absence of objections, may
reject these proposed findings and recommendations in whole
or in part.
Angela Pemberton, has appealed the final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration to deny
her claim for disability insurance benefits. The
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) concluded Ms.
Pemberton had not been under a disability within the meaning
of the Social Security Act, because jobs existed in
significant numbers which she could perform despite her
impairments. (Tr. 11-20.)
review is extremely limited. A 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 to analyze whether the Plaintiff was denied benefits due
to a legal error. Long v. Chater, 108 F.3d 185, 187
(8th Cir. 1997); see also, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401
(1971); Reynolds v. Chater, 82 F.3d 254, 257 (8th
assessing the substantiality of the evidence, courts must
consider evidence that detracts from the Commissioner's
decision as well as evidence that supports it; a court may
not, however, reverse the Commissioner's decision merely
because substantial evidence would have supported an opposite
decision. Woolf v. Shalala, 3 F.3d 1210, 1213 (8th
history of the administrative proceedings and the statement
of facts relevant to this decision are contained in the
respective briefs and are not in serious dispute. Therefore,
they will not be repeated in this opinion except as
necessary. After careful review of the pleadings and evidence
in the case, I find the Commissioner's decision is
supported by substantial evidence and Plaintiff's
Complaint should be DISMISSED.
Pemberton is young - only thirty-eight years old at the time
of the administrative hearing. (Tr. 44.) She testified she is
a high school graduate and earned her “LPN degree and
then on to get [her] RN degree.” (Id.) She has
past work experience as a “LPN, RN, and scrub tech,
surgery tech.” (Tr. 59.)
found Ms. Pemberton has not engaged in any substantial
gainful activity since February 17, 2015, the alleged onset
date. (Tr. 13.) She has severe impairments, but the ALJ found
that these impairments did not meet or equal one of the
listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 4, Subpart P, Appendix
determined Ms. Pemberton has the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform a reduced range of sedentary
work. (Tr. 14.) Based on this RFC, the ALJ determined Ms.
Pemberton can no longer perform her past work. (Tr. 19.) He,
therefore, utilized the services of a vocational expert to
determine if jobs existed that Ms. Pemberton can perform
despite her impairments. (Tr. 59-62.) Based on the vocational
expert's testimony, the ALJ determined Ms. Pemberton can
perform the jobs of document preparer and telephone quote
clerk. (Tr. 20.) Accordingly, the ALJ determined Ms.
Pemberton is not disabled. (Id.)
Appeals Council received additional evidence but denied Ms.
Pemberton's request for a review of the ALJ's
decision. (Tr. 1-3.) Therefore, the ALJ's decision is the
final decision of the Commissioner. (Id.) Plaintiff
filed the instant Complaint initiating this appeal. (Doc. No.
2.) In support of her Complaint, Ms. Pemberton argues the
Commissioner's decision is not supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole. (Doc. No. 10 at 16-28.)
Pemberton clearly suffers from some level of pain and
limitation. But after carefully considering the ALJ's
opinion, the medical records, and the briefs from the
respective parties, I find that the ALJ's opinion is
supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole.
Pemberton argues the ALJ incorrectly determined her RFC.
(Doc. No. 10 at 19-22.) Specifically, Ms. Pemberton says the
ALJ's finding that she can engage in ...