United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
STACIE MENDENHALL, on behalf of J.D.M., a Minor Child PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,  Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Stacie Mendenhall, brings this action on behalf of her minor
son, J.D.M., seeking judicial review, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), of a decision of the Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration (Commissioner) denying
J.D.M.'S application for child's supplemental
security income (SSI) benefits under Title 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 the application for SSI on her minor son
J.D.M.'s behalf on May 22, 2014, alleging that J.D.M.,
who was five years of age when the application was filed, was
disabled due to anxiety attacks, asthma, attention deficit
disorder (ADD), concentration disorder, and tic disorder.
(Tr. 84, 94). An administrative video hearing was held on
September 3, 2015, during which Ms. Mendenhall appeared with
counsel and testified. (Tr. 39-61).
written decision dated June 29, 2016, the ALJ found J.D.M.
had the following severe impairments: attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety disorder,
disruptive disorder, not otherwise specified, and tic
disorder. (Tr. 18). However, the ALJ further found that as
J.D.M. did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that was medically or functionally equal to a
listed impairment, J.D.M. was not disabled. (Tr. 18-31).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which after considering additional evidence
submitted by Plaintiff, denied that request on August 13,
2017. (Tr. 1-6). 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. 14, 15).
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
regulations prescribe a three-step process for making the
disability determination. First, the ALJ must determine
whether the child has engaged in substantial gainful
activity. See 20 C.F.R. 416.924(b). Second, the ALJ
must determine whether the child has a severe impairment or
combination of impairments. See 20 C.F.R.
416.924(c). Third, the ALJ must determine whether the severe
impairment(s) meets, medically equals, or functionally equals
a listed impairment. See 20 C.F.R. §
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
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
 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; ...