United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Warren (“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 application for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) and a period of
disability under Title II 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 DIB application on February 26, 2015.
(Tr. 117). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to fibromyalgia, lupus, depression, severe
anxiety, and thyroid disease. (Tr. 350). Plaintiff alleges an
onset date of February 2, 2015. (Tr. 117). Her DIB
application was denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 236-267).
requested an administrative hearing on her denied
application, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr.
200-235). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on
November 7, 2016 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Id. At
this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by
Stanley Brummel. Id. Plaintiff, a witness for
Plaintiff, and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Dale
Thomas testified at this hearing. Id.
April 12, 2017, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
disability application. (Tr. 114-126). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act
through December 31, 2018. (Tr. 119, Finding 1). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful
Activity (“SGA”) since February 2, 2015, her
alleged onset date. (Tr. 119, Finding 2). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: degenerative
disc disease, history of fibromyalgia, and anxiety disorder.
(Tr. 119-120, 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. 120-121,
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 121-124, 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 light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) except lifting 20 pounds occasionally and 10
pounds frequently; carrying 20 pounds occasionally and 10
pounds frequently; sitting for 6 hours, standing for 6 hours,
walking for 6 hours, pushing/pulling as much as she can
lift/carry. The claimant can climb ramps and stairs
occasionally, climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds occasionally,
and balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl occasionally. She
is limited to perform simple, routine tasks; occasionally
respond to supervisors, coworkers, and the public.
determined Plaintiff was forty-three (43) years old, which is
defined as a “younger individual” under 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.963(c) (2008), on her alleged disability onset
date. (Tr. 125, Finding 7). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
at least a high school education and was able to communicate
in English. (Tr. 125, Finding 8).
then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and determined Plaintiff was unable to
perform any of her PRW. (Tr. 124-125, Finding 6). The ALJ
also considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 125-126, Finding 10). The VE testified
at the administrative hearing regarding this issue.
Id. Based upon that testimony, the ALJ found
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform work as a bench
assembler (light, unskilled) with 108, 000 such jobs in the
national economy; laundry worker (light, unskilled) with 306,
000 such jobs in the national economy; and hand packager
(light, unskilled) with 57, 000 such jobs in the national
economy. Id. Based upon this finding, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as
defined by the Act, from February 2, 2015 (application date)
through April 12, 2017 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 126,
sought review with the Appeals Council. On November 29, 2017,
the Appeals Council denied this request for review. (Tr.
7-10). On January 18, 2018, 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.