United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
MARK HAMILTON, SR. PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Hamilton, Sr. (“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 his applications for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”), and a period of disability under
Titles II and XVI of the Act.
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. 7. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed his disability applications on November 6,
2014. (Tr. 65). In these applications, Plaintiff alleges
being disabled due to problems with his left femur with
femoral nail, being unable to stand on his leg, swelling in
his left foot, and pain in his left leg “all the
time.” (Tr. 293). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of
July 1, 2013. (Tr. 65). These applications were denied
initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 128-189).
Plaintiff's applications were denied, Plaintiff requested
an administrative hearing on these applications, and this
hearing request was granted. (Tr. 102-127). Thereafter, on
May 19, 2017, the SSA held an administrative hearing on
Plaintiff's applications in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff was present was
represented by Greg Giles. Id. Plaintiff and
Vocational Expert (“VE”) James Wallace testified
at this hearing. Id.
15, 2017, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered a
fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
applications. (Tr. 65-74). The ALJ found Plaintiff met the
insured status requirements of the Act through December 31,
2018. (Tr. 68, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since July 1, 2013, his alleged onset
date. (Tr. 68, Finding 2).
determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments:
status post left femur open reduction and internal fixation
(ORIF) and subsequent hardware infection and cervical spine
degenerative disc disease (DDD). (Tr. 68, Finding 3). 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. 68-69, Finding 4).
determined Plaintiff had a limited education but was able to
communicate in English. (Tr. 73, Finding 8). The ALJ also
determined Plaintiff was forty-two (42) years old, which is
defined as a “younger individual” under 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1563(c) (DIB) and under 20 C.F.R. §
416.963(c) (SSI). (Tr. 72-73, Finding 7).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined his RFC. (Tr. 69-72, Finding 5).
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 lift
and/or carry 10 pounds occasionally and less than 10 pounds
frequently; stand and/or walk for 2 hours in an 8-hour
workday and sit for 6 hours in an 8-hour workday; cannot
climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds; can occasionally climb
ramps and stairs; cannot crawl; can occasionally stoop and
crouch; must avoid hazards such as slippery surfaces or
unprotected heights and requires a cane when ambulating for
determined Plaintiff was unable to perform any of his Past
Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 72, Finding 6). The
ALJ, however, found Plaintiff did retain the capacity to
perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 73-74, Finding 10). 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 document
preparer (unskilled, sedentary) with approximately 23, 275
such jobs in the nation; call out operator (unskilled,
sedentary) with approximately 3, 230 such jobs in the nation;
telephone information clerk (unskilled, sedentary) with
approximately 1, 667 such jobs in the nation; and toy stuffer
(unskilled, sedentary) with approximately 1, 975 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 July 1, 2013 through the date of his decision or
through June 15, 2017. (Tr. 74, Finding 11).
requested that the Appeals Council's review the ALJ's
unfavorable disability determination. On March 19, 2018, the
Appeals Council declined to review the ALJ's disability
determination. (Tr. 1-7). On April 6, 2018, Plaintiff filed
the present appeal. ECF No. 1. The Parties consented to the