United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Patricia Miller, 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 claim for supplemental security
income (SSI) under the provisions of 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 her current application for SSI on August
18, 2015, alleging an inability to work since February 15,
2014, due to bipolar disorder, back disorder, knee problems,
obesity, diabetes and fibromyalgia. (Tr. 97-98, 113). An
administrative hearing was held on July 14, 2016, at which
Plaintiff and a vocational expert testified. (Tr. 34-63).
written decision dated September 21, 2016, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had severe
impairments of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus,
degenerative disc disease at ¶ 3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1,
carpal tunnel syndrome post-bilateral release surgery, COPD,
obesity, osteoarthritis, and depression. (Tr. 16). 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. 16). The ALJ found that Plaintiff
retained the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b), except that she
would need to work in a controlled environment with no
temperature extremes and would need a job with simple tasks,
simple instructions, and only incidental contact with the
public. (Tr. 19-21). 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 economy that Plaintiff
could perform, such as a cleaner/housekeeper, a routing
clerk, and a marking clerk. (Tr. 23). Therefore, the ALJ
concluded that the Plaintiff had not been under a disability,
as defined in the Social Security Act, from August 18, 2015,
through the date of the decision. (Tr. 23).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which after considering additional evidence
submitted by Plaintiff, denied that request on September 18,
2017. (Tr. 1-5). 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
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; ...