United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas
DERRICK W. SAMS PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Derrick W. Sams, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of a decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner) denying his claims for child's insurance
benefits (CDIB) and supplemental security income (SSI)
benefits under the provisions of Title II and XVI of the
Social Security Act (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).
protectively filed his current applications for CDIB and SSI
on March 19, 2015, alleging an inability to work since April
2, 1995, due to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, a tumor in
the stomach, migraines, asthma, back pain, a conduct disorder
and irritable bowel syndrome. (Tr. 92, 216, 222). An
administrative video hearing was held on April 26, 2017, at
which Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified. (Tr.
written decision dated July 6, 2017, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff had not attained the age of 22 and had not engaged
in substantial gainful activity as of the alleged onset date.
(Tr. 24). The ALJ found Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: a history of generalized anxiety disorder, a
history of depressive disorder and a history of social
disorder. (Tr. 24). However, after reviewing all of the
evidence presented, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff's
impairments did not meet or equal the level of severity of
any impairment listed in the Listing of Impairments found in
Appendix I, Subpart P, Regulation No. 4. (Tr. 25). The ALJ
found plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity
perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but
with the following nonexertional limitations: he is limited
to the performance of simple, routine and repetitive tasks;
is limited to simple, work-related decision-making; and is
limited to the performance of tasks where interpersonal
contact is incidental to the work performed.
(Tr. 26). With the help of a vocational expert, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff could work as a kitchen helper, a price
marker and a hotel housekeeper. (Tr. 31).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which after reviewing additional evidence
submitted by Plaintiff denied that request on March 1,
2018. (Tr. 1-7). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed
this action. (Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned
pursuant to the consent of the parties. (Doc. 5). Both
parties have filed appeal briefs, and the case is now ready
for decision. (Docs. 12, 13).
Court's role is to determine whether the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole. Ramirez v.
Barnhart, 292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial
evidence is less than a preponderance but it is enough that a
reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. The ALJ's decision must be
affirmed if the record contains substantial evidence to
support it. Edwards v. Barnhart, 314 F.3d 964, 966
(8th Cir. 2003). 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. Haley v. Massanari, 258 F.3d 742, 747
(8th Cir. 2001). In other words, if after reviewing the
record it is possible to draw two inconsistent positions from
the evidence and one of those positions represents the
findings of the ALJ, the decision of the ALJ must be
affirmed. Young v. Apfel, 221 F.3d 1065, 1068 (8th
Court has reviewed the entire transcript and the parties'
briefs. For the reasons stated in the ALJ's well-reasoned
opinion and the Government's brief, the Court finds
Plaintiff's arguments on appeal to be without merit and
finds that the record as a whole reflects substantial
evidence to support the ALJ's decision. Accordingly, the
ALJ's decision is hereby summarily affirmed and
Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
See Sledge v. Astrue, No. 08-0089, 2008 WL 4816675
(W.D. Mo. Oct. 31, 2008) (summarily affirming ALJ's
denial of disability benefits), aff'd, 364
Fed.Appx. 307 (8th Cir. 2010).
 With respect to the additional
evidence from the relevant time period that was submitted to
the Appeals Council, the Appeals Council made the following
determination, “We find this evidence does not show a
reasonable probability that it would change the outcome of
the decision. We did not consider and exhibit this
evidence.” The Court notes that, here, as the Court
found in Benoit v. Berryhill, although the Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review and
indicated that it did not consider or exhibit the evidence,
the Appeals Council's decision reflects that the Appeals
Council received the additional records; that it reviewed
these records; and ...