United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge James M. Moody, Jr. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objections; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Jeanie Lawrence, applied for disability benefits on March 29,
2016, alleging a disability onset date of March 23, 2016.
(Tr. at 15). The application was denied initially and upon
reconsideration Id. After conducting a hearing, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied Ms.
Lawrence's claim. (Tr. at 24). The Appeals Council denied
her request for review. (Tr. at 1). The ALJ's decision
now stands as the final decision of the Commissioner, and Ms.
Lawrence has requested judicial review.
reasons stated below, the Court should affirm the decision of
The Commissioner=s Decision:
found that Ms. Lawrence had not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since the alleged onset date of March 23,
2016. (Tr. at 18). At Step Two of the sequential five-step
analysis, the ALJ found that Ms. Lawrence had the following
severe impairment: bicep tendinitis status post arthroscopy.
found that Ms. Lawrence's impairment did not meet or
equal a listed impairment. Id. Before proceeding to
Step Four, the ALJ determined that Ms. Lawrence had the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
work at the sedentary level, with some limitations.
Id. She could not perform right upper extremity
overhead reaching responsibilities, and she could not perform
more than frequent right upper extremity handling duties.
next found that Ms. Lawrence was unable to perform any past
relevant work. (Tr. at 22). The ALJ relied on the testimony
of a Vocational Expert ("VE") to find that,
considering Ms. Lawrence's age, education, work
experience and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers in
the national economy that she could perform, such as
addresser and call out operator. (Tr. at 23).
Therefore, the ALJ found that Ms. Lawrence was not disabled.
Standard of Review The Court's function on review is to
determine whether the Commissioner's decision is
supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole
and whether it is based on legal error. Miller v.
Colvin, 784 F.3d 472, 477 (8th Cir. 2015); see
also 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). While “substantial
evidence” is that which a reasonable mind might accept
as adequate to support a conclusion, “substantial
evidence on the record as a whole” requires a court to
engage in a more scrutinizing analysis:
“[O]ur review is more than an examination of the record
for the existence of substantial evidence in support of the
Commissioner's decision; we also take into account
whatever in the record fairly detracts from that
decision.” Reversal is not warranted, however,
“merely because substantial evidence would have
supported an opposite decision.”
Reed v. Barnhart, 399 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2005)
not the task of this Court to review the evidence and make an
independent decision. Neither is it to reverse the decision
of the ALJ because there is evidence in the record which
contradicts his findings. The test is whether there is
substantial evidence in the record as a whole which supports
the decision of the ALJ. Miller, 784 F.3d at 477.
The Court has ...