United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES
BARRY A. BRYANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Lee Edwards (“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 Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the
to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)
(2009), the Honorable P. K. Holmes, III referred this case to
this Court for the purpose of making a report and
recommendation. In accordance with that referral, and after
reviewing the arguments in this case, this Court recommends
Plaintiff's case be REVERSED AND
protectively filed her SSI application on April 10, 2014.
(Tr. 10). In her application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to a head injury. (Tr. 293). Plaintiff alleges
an onset date of December 31, 2013. (Tr. 10). Her application
was denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr.
requested an administrative hearing on her denied
application, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr.
32-124). Plaintiff had two administrative hearings, one on
May 18, 2015 and one on November 2, 2016. Id.
Plaintiff's second administrative hearing was held on
November 2, 2016 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Tr. 76-124). At
this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by
Jim O'Hearn. Id. Plaintiff, three witnesses for
Plaintiff, and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Jim
Spraggens testified at this hearing. Id.
15, 2017, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered
an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's disability
application. (Tr. 7-31). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not
engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”)
since April 10, 2014, her application date. (Tr. 12, Finding
1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: history of subarachnoid hemorrhage status
post-coiling; hypertension; cognitive disorder not otherwise
specified (NOS); and anxiety disorder. (Tr. 12, Finding 2).
The ALJ also determined 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. 12-14, Finding 3).
determined Plaintiff was forty (40) 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. 23, Finding 6). Plaintiff also testified she had a
limited education but was able to communicate in English.
(Tr. 23, Finding 7).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 14-23, Finding 4). First, the ALJ
evaluated Plaintiff's 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 416.967(b) except she must avoid concentrated exposure to
hazards including no driving as a part of work. Th claimant
is further capable of work where interpersonal contact is
incidental to work performed, tasks are no more complex than
those learned and performed by rote, with few variables and
little use of judgment, and supervision required is simple,
direct and concrete.
evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and found Plaintiff was unable to perform
any of her PRW. (Tr. 23, Finding 5). The ALJ then considered
whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work
existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr.
24, Finding 9). The VE testified at the administrative
hearing regarding this issue. Id.
upon that testimony, the ALJ found Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform light, unskilled work such as bottling
line attendant with 332, 680 such jobs in the nation and 2,
870 jobs in Arkansas and gasket attacher with 232, 560 such
jobs in the nation and 3, 900 such jobs in Arkansas.
Id. The ALJ also found Plaintiff retained the
capacity to perform sedentary, unskilled work such as label
cutter machine operator with 800 such jobs in the nation and
160 such jobs in Arkansas and ordinance check weigher with
13, 000 such jobs in the nation and 170 such jobs in
Arkansas. Id. Based upon this finding, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as
defined by the Act, from April 10, 2014 (application date)
through May 18, 2017 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 25,
Plaintiff sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 1-4).
On January 24, 2018, the Appeals Council denied this request
for review. Id. On March 26, 2018, Plaintiff filed a
Complaint in this case. ...