United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Anita Williams (“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 applications for Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”), Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”), 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 her disability applications on October 30,
2014. (Tr. 140). In these applications, Plaintiff alleges
being disabled due to fibromyalgia; depression; anxiety;
hypothyroidism; muscle spasms; back, neck, leg, and hip pain;
acid reflux; memory loss; and irritable bowel syndrome. (Tr.
492). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of August 20, 2014.
(Tr. 140). Her applications were denied initially and again
upon reconsideration. (Tr. 330-393).
requested an administrative hearing on her denied
applications. (Tr. 414-415). This hearing request was
granted, and Plaintiff's hearing was held on April 27,
2016 in El Dorado, Arkansas and in Alexandria, Louisiana.
(Tr. 232-254). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was
represented by Mary Thomason. Id. Plaintiff and
Vocational Expert (“VE”) Beverly Majors testified
at this hearing. Id.
April 27, 2016, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
disability applications. (Tr. 137-150). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act
through December 31, 2017. (Tr. 142, Finding 1). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful
Activity (“SGA”) since August 20, 2014, her
alleged onset date. (Tr. 142, Finding 2). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: myalgias,
osteoarthritis, and coronary artery disease. (Tr. 142-144,
Finding 3). The ALJ also determined that Plaintiff did not
have an impairment or combination of impairments that 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. 144-145, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 145-149, Finding 5). First, the ALJ
evaluated Plaintiff' subjective complaints and found they
were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had the following RFC:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform the full range of light work
as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b).
then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 149, Finding 6). Considering her
RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform her PRW as a cashier (light, unskilled), convenient
store clerk (light, semi-skilled), and nursing home or school
cafeteria cook (medium, skilled). Id. Based upon
this finding, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under
a disability (as defined by the Act) from August 20, 2014
(application date) through September 28, 2016 (ALJ's
decision date). (Tr. 149, Finding 7).
sought review with the Appeals Council. On September 25,
2017, the Appeals Council denied this request for review.
(Tr. 1-3). On October 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint
in this case. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal
briefs and have consented to the jurisdiction of this Court.
ECF Nos. 5, 12-13. This case is now ready for determination.
reviewing this case, this Court is required to determine
whether the Commissioner's findings are supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. See
42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010); Ramirez v. Barnhart,292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial evidence is
less than a preponderance of the evidence, but it is enough
that a reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. See Johnson v. Apfel,240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). As long as there is
substantial evidence in the record that supports the
Commissioner's decision, the Court may not reverse it
simply because substantial evidence exists in the record that
would have supported a contrary outcome or because the Court
would have decided the case differently. See Haley v.
Massanari,258 F.3d 742, 747 (8th Cir. 2001). If, after
reviewing the record, it is possible to ...