United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED
VOLPE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
recommended disposition has been submitted to United States
District Judge Kristine G. Baker. 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.
Corey Click, has appealed the final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration to deny
his claim for disability insurance benefits and supplemental
security income. Both parties have submitted appeal briefs
and the case is now ready for a decision.
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 free of legal error.
Slusser v. Astrue, 557 F.3d 923, 925 (8th Cir.
2009); Long v. Chater, 108 F.3d 185, 187 (8th Cir.
1997); see also 42 U.S.C. §§
405(g), 1383(c)(3). 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 Cir. 1996). In 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.
Sultan v. Barnhart, 368 F.3d 857, 863 (8th Cir.
2004); Woolf v. Shalala, 3 F.3d 1210, 1213 (8th Cir.
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 consideration of the record as a
whole, I find the decision of the Commissioner is supported
by substantial evidence.
is young - only forty-one years old. (Tr. 41.) He testified
that he went as far as the tenth grade in school.
(Id.) Mr. Click has past relevant work as an animal
attendant, a press jogger, and barber. (Tr. 26.)
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found Mr. Click has a
combination of “severe” impairments. (Tr. 17.)
The ALJ further found Mr. Click did not have an impairment or
combination of impairments meeting or equaling an impairment
listed in 20 C.F.R. § 404, Subpart P, Appendix
determined Mr. Click had the residual functional capacity
(RFC) to perform a reduced range of sedentary work. (Tr.
19-20.) Given this RFC, Mr. Click is no longer able to
perform his past relevant work. (Tr. 26.) Therefore, the ALJ
employed the services of a vocational expert to determine
whether jobs existed that Mr. Click could perform despite his
impairments. (Tr. 58-61.) The ALJ determined that Plaintiff
was capable of performing the jobs of machine tender and
inspector. (Tr. 27.) Accordingly, the ALJ determined Mr.
Click was not disabled. (Tr. 27-28.)
support of his Complaint, Mr. Click argues the ALJ
“failed to give proper weight to the opinion of
Plaintiff's treating provider, Dr. Lewis, instead of
relying on the outdated opinions of the State Agency Medical
Consultants.” (Doc. No. 12 at 16.) Plaintiff is correct
that his treating doctor should generally be given deference,
but after a close review of the records, I find the ALJ
properly assessed the opinion of Derek Lewis, M.D.
Lewis provided a Medical Source Statement indicating
Plaintiff was extremely limited due to his degenerative disc
disease. (Tr. 750-751.) As Plaintiff states, if the ALJ gave
significant weight to this evidence, Mr. Click would be
considered disabled. (Doc. No. 12 at 17.) The ALJ gave the
Medical Source Statement little weight stating:
Obviously, the medical statement is internally inconsistent.
It assumes a progressive disease will worsen and cause
additional limitations. The opinion states that the claimant
would be off tasks and have interference to maintain focus
and concentration. However, the treatment notes consistently
show no side effects of medication and there is no evidence
of lack of concentration or focus. . . Treatment notes from
Derek Lewis between February ...