United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
JOHN T. ORR PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Orr (“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 his applications for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”), and a period of disability under
Titles II and XVI of the Act.
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 his disability applications on July 31,
2014 (DIB) and on April 30, 2015 (SSI). (Tr. 58). In his
applications, Plaintiff alleges he was disabled due to
hypertension, COPD, “kryptocacus, ” arthritis, a
“cut tendon in pinky, ” and “pain from
screws in ankle.” (Tr. 249). Plaintiff alleges an onset
date of July 31, 2014. (Tr. 58). These applications were
denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr.
requested an administrative hearing on his denied
applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr.
80-120, 148-149). Plaintiff's first administrative
hearing was held on February 8, 2016, and Plaintiff's
second administrative hearing was held on October 11, 2016.
(Tr. 80-120). Plaintiff's second administrative hearing
was held in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Tr. 108-120). At this
hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by Stanley
Brummal. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Cola Brown testified at the hearing in
this matter. Id.
December 15, 2016, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision on
Plaintiff's disability applications. (Tr. 55-79). In this
decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status
requirements of the Act through June 30, 2010. (Tr. 61,
Finding 1). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not engaged in
Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since his
alleged onset date. (Tr. 61, Finding 2). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, insomnia,
obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, remote right ankle
fracture, anxiety, and borderline intellectual functioning.
(Tr. 61, Finding 3). Despite being severe, the ALJ also
determined Plaintiff did not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that met or medically equaled one
of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1. (Tr. 61-65, Finding 4).
determined Plaintiff had a limited education but was able to
communicate in English. (Tr. 72, Finding 8). The ALJ also
determined Plaintiff was forty-four (44) years old, which is
defined as a “younger individual” under 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1563(c) (DIB) and under 20 C.F.R. §
416.963(c) (SSI). (Tr. 72, Finding 7).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined his RFC. (Tr. 65-72, Finding 5).
Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff retained the following
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except he can no more than
occasionally climb ramps and stairs but never climb ladders,
ropes, or scaffolds. The claimant can not more than
frequently crawl and no more than occasionally balance,
stoop, kneel, and crouch. He can no more than frequently
reach, handle, and finger with his bilateral upper
extremities and can no more than frequently operate foot
controls with his bilateral low extremities. The work must
not expose the claimant to concentrated fumes, odors, or
gases. The work must be limited to simple, routine,
repetitive jobs under supervision with simple, direct, and
concrete direction, SVP 1 or 2 jobs that can be learned
within thirty days training. Additionally, the claimant can
only perform jobs that do not require contact with the
determined Plaintiff was unable to perform any of his Past
Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 72, Finding 6). The
ALJ, however, found Plaintiff did retain the capacity to
perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 73). The VE testified at the
administrative hearing regarding this issue. (Tr. 73).
Specifically, the VE testified Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform work as a circuit board assembler
(sedentary, unskilled work) with 10, 000 such jobs in the
nation and as a toy stuffer (sedentary, unskilled work) with
25, 000 such jobs in the nation. Id. Based upon
these findings, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been
under a disability, as defined in the Act, from July 31, 2014
through the date of his decision or through December 20,
2016. (Tr. 74, Finding 11).
requested that the Appeals Council's review the ALJ's
unfavorable disability determination. (Tr.1-3). On October
11, 2017, the Appeals Council declined to review the
ALJ's disability determination. Id. On December
7, 2017, Plaintiff filed the present appeal. ECF No. 1. The
Parties consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on
December 8, 2017. ECF No. 5. Both Parties have filed appeal
briefs. ECF Nos. 12-13. This case is now ready for decision.