United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Weathington (“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
Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate
judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case,
including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final
judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF
No. 11. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed her disability application on April 4,
2016. (Tr. 14). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to COPD, depression, hernia, kidney stones, and
emphysema. (Tr. 236). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of
September 1, 2009. (Tr. 59). This application was denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 87-112).
Plaintiff's application was denied, Plaintiff requested
an administrative hearing on this application, and this
hearing request was granted. (Tr. 28-55). Thereafter, on May
12, 2017, the SSA held an administrative hearing on
Plaintiff's application in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was
represented by Michael Joe Hamby. Id. Plaintiff and
Vocational Expert (“VE”) Jim Spragins testified
at this hearing. Id.
August 18, 2017, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
application. (Tr. 15-23). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not
engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”)
since April 4, 2016, her application date. (Tr. 16, Finding
1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe
impairments: COPD; lumbar degenerative disc disease; history
of ovarian cyst; history of recurrent non-obstructive kidney
stones; “tiny” fat containing ventral hernia; and
GERD. (Tr. 16-17, Finding 2). Despite being severe, the ALJ
also determined Plaintiff did not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that met or medically equaled one
of the listed impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1. (Tr. 18, Finding 3).
determined Plaintiff had a limited education but was able to
communicate in English. (Tr. 22, Finding 7). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff was forty-two (42) years old, which is
defined as a “younger individual” under 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.963(c) (SSI). (Tr. 22, Finding 6).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her RFC. (Tr. 18-21, Finding 4).
Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff retained the following
After careful consideration of the entire record, I find that
the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) except occasional
exposure to dust, fumes, smoke, or chemicals; and avoid
temperature extremes of cold, wetness, and humidity.
determined Plaintiff had no Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 21-22, Finding 5). The ALJ,
however, found Plaintiff did retain the capacity to perform
other work existing in significant numbers in the national
economy. (Tr. 22, Finding 9). In making this determination,
the ALJ relied upon the testimony of the VE. Id.
Based upon this testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff
retained the capacity to perform work as a Cashier II (light,
unskilled) with approximately two million such jobs in the
nation and Price Marker (light, unskilled) with approximately
496, 000 such jobs in the nation. Id. Because
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this other work,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability,
as defined by the Act, from April 4, 2016 (application date)
through August 18, 2017 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 23,
requested the Appeals Council's review of the ALJ
unfavorable disability determination. On March 15, 2018, th
Appeals Council declined to review the ALJ's disability
determination. (Tr. 1-6). On May 4, 2018, Plaintiff filed the
present appeal. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the
jurisdiction of this Court on June 22, 2018. ECF No. 11. This
case is now ready for decision.