United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Bridget Pittman, 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 her claims for a period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental
security income (SSI) under the provisions of Titles 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. §
protectively filed her current applications for DIB and SSI
on February 5, 2015, alleging an inability to work since
February 3, 2015, due to bipolar disorder and panic disorder
with agoraphobia. (Tr. 70, 84, 100, 115). For DIB purposes,
Plaintiff maintained insured status through December 31,
2016. (Tr. 70, 84, 100). An administrative hearing was held
on March 23, 2016, at which Plaintiff and a vocational expert
testified. (Tr. 33-67).
written decision dated August 31, 2016, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had severe
impairments of bipolar disorder, anxiety, and borderline
personality disorder. (Tr. 12). However, after reviewing all
of the evidence presented, the ALJ determined that
Plaintiff's impairment 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. 13). The ALJ found that Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to perform a full range of work at
all exertional levels, but with the following non-exertional
limitations: Plaintiff is able to perform work with simple
tasks, simple instructions and incidental contact with the
public. (Tr. 15). With the help of a vocational expert (VE),
the ALJ determined that although Plaintiff was unable to
perform her past relevant work, there were jobs that existed
in significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff
could perform, such as a warehouse worker and a hand
packager. (Tr. 23, 66). The ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff
had not been under a disability, as defined in the Social
Security Act, from February 3, 2015, through the date of the
decision. (Tr. 23).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, but the request was denied on August 25,
2017. (Tr. 1-4). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action.
(Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 7). Both parties have filed
appeal briefs, and the case is now ready for decision. (Docs.
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).
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED.
 Nancy A. Berryhill, has been appointed
to serve as acting Commissioner of Social Security, and is
substituted as Defendant, pursuant to Rule 25(d)(1) of the