United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
RALPH E. HULSEY PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
HONORABLE MARK E. FORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ralph E. Hulsey, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g) seeking judicial review of a decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security Administration (the
“Commissioner”) denying his claim for a period of
disability, disability insurance benefits (“DIB”)
and supplemental security income (“SSI”) under
the provisions of Titles II and XVI of the Social Security
Act (the “Act”). In this judicial review, the
Court must determine whether there is substantial evidence in
the administrative record to support the Commissioner's
decision. See 42 U.S.C. § 405 (g).
filed his applications for SSI and DIB on January 29, 2015,
due to coronary artery disease and triple bypass surgery.
(ECF No. 8, pp. 13, 164). Plaintiff initially alleged an
onset date of January 21, 2014. (Id.). At the
administrative hearing, Plaintiff amended his alleged
disability onset date to April 13, 2013. (Id., pp.
13, 51). His claims were denied initially on April 3, 2015,
and upon reconsideration on July 17, 2015. (Id., pp.
13, 92, 96). An administrative hearing was held on January
21, 2016, before the Hon. Harold D. Davis. (Id., p.
26). Plaintiff appeared in person and was represented by
counsel, Davis Moody. (Id.). Vocational Expert Monte
Lumpkin also testified at the hearing. (Id.).
written decision dated August 25, 2016, the ALJ found
Plaintiff's hypertension, coronary artery disease, and
obesity to be severe, but found that Plaintiff's
impairments did not meet or equal the level of severity of
any impairment listed in the Listing of Impairments.
(Id., p. 16). The ALJ found that Plaintiff retained
the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to
perform the full range of light work as defined in 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1567(b). (Id.).
the assistance of a vocational expert (“VE”), the
ALJ then determined Plaintiff would be unable to perform any
past relevant work (Id., p. 19); however, the ALJ
found Plaintiff could perform the requirements of the
representative occupations of: Shipping Checker (DOT No.
222.687-030), with 15, 596 jobs in the national economy;
Power Screwdriver Operator (DOT No. 699.685-026), with 53,
015 jobs in the national economy; or, Can Filling and Closing
Machine Tender (DOT No. 529.685-282), with 25, 192 jobs in
the national economy. (Id., p. 20). The ALJ found
Plaintiff had not been disabled under the definition of the
Act from April 13, 2013, through the date of his decision.
September 6, 2017, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's
request for review. (Id., pp. 1-6). Plaintiff then
filed this action. (ECF No. 1). This matter is before the
undersigned for report and recommendation. Both parties have
filed appeal briefs. (ECF Nos. 11, 12). The case is ready for
undersigned has conducted a thorough review of the entire
record in this case. The complete sets of facts and arguments
are presented in the parties' briefs and are repeated
here only to the extent necessary.
administrative hearing, Plaintiff testified that he was 53
years old and had a 12th grade education. (ECF No.
8, pp. 32-33). Plaintiff testified that his last job was with
Cloyes Gear Company, and that job ended because he really
could not do it. (Id., p. 34). Plaintiff testified
he worked there for two and a half months running a turning
bar machine, but he was still in his preliminary 90-day
period and was missing too much time. (Id., pp.
34-35). Plaintiff reported that he had worked for Walmart as
a dock worker unloading trucks for 12 years; he left because
his work was deteriorating, and he had been written up and
terminated. (Id., pp. 35-36).
testified that he had a lot of pain in his hands, feet,
ankles, and chest, and that he had swelling and angina.
(Id., p. 36). The last time he had been in the
hospital was in 2012 or 2013. (Id., p. 39).
Plaintiff stated that he did not cook, clean, mow the lawn,
or go to the grocery store. (Id., p. 46). He could
walk a quarter of a mile with rest periods, but he could not
make it a full mile. (Id., p. 47). When he tried to
drive he had pain in his legs and hands, as well as in his
back, and this prevented him from driving more than 10 miles.
(Id., pp. 53-54). He only drove every two to three
months. (Id.). Plaintiff also testified that his
medications made him tired and dizzy and that he had fallen
twice. (Id., p. 55).
medical evidence of record reflects the following:
October 12, 2012, Plaintiff underwent left heart
catheterization, selective coronary angiography, left
ventriculography with left internal mammary artery injections
and vein graft injections, percutaneous transluminal
angioplasty and stenting of the right coronary artery with
drug-eluting stent to treat his unstable angina.
(Id., p. 321). Post-operatively Plaintiff was
advised to limit himself to light activity for five to seven
days and to avoid lifting greater than 10 pounds.
(Id., p. 326).
January 17, 2013, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. David Churchill
for a follow-up visit. (Id., p. 232).
Plaintiff's chief complaints were listed as
hyperlipidemia, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and
atrial fibrillation. (Id.). Plaintiff denied chest
pain, dyspnea, dyspnea on exertion, syncope, palpitations,
bilateral lower extremity edema, and lightheadedness.
(Id.). Plaintiff also reported compliance with his
recommended diet, exercise and medication, and that he was no
longer using tobacco. (Id.). Dr. Churchill diagnosed
Plaintiff with: ...