United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
VICKI J. CHAPMAN PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration, DEFENDANT
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED
VOLPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
recommended disposition has been submitted to United States
District Judge D.P Marshall Jr. The parties may file specific
objections to these findings and recommendations and must
provide the factual or legal basis for each objection. The
objections must be filed with the Clerk no later than
fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and
recommendations. A copy must be served on the opposing party.
The district judge, even in the absence of objections, may
reject these proposed findings and recommendations in whole
or in part.
Vicki Chapman, has appealed the final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration to deny
her claim for supplemental security income. Both parties have
submitted briefs and the case is ready for a decision.
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 free of legal error.
Slusser v. Astrue, 557 F.3d 923, 925 (8th Cir.
2009); Long v. Chater, 108 F.3d 185, 187 (8th Cir.
1997); see also 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g),
1383(c)(3). Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as
a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401
(1971); Reynolds v. Chater, 82 F.3d 254, 257 (8th
assessing the substantiality of the evidence, courts must
consider evidence that detracts from the Commissioner's
decision as well as evidence that supports it; a court may
not, however, reverse the Commissioner's decision merely
because substantial evidence would have supported an opposite
decision. Sultan v. Barnhart, 368 F.3d 857, 863 (8th
Cir. 2004); Woolf v. Shalala, 3 F.3d 1210, 1213 (8th
Cir. 1993). After careful review of the pleadings and
evidence in this case, I find the Commissioner's decision
is supported by substantial evidence and recommend the
Complaint be DISMISSED.
is fifty-two years old. (Tr. 35.) She is a high school
graduate (id.) and has past relevant work as a
telecommunicator. (Tr. 24.)
found Ms. Chapman had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since August 26, 2015 - the application date. (Tr.
17.) She has “severe” impairments in the form of
shoulder tendinitis, obesity, diabetes mellitus with
neuropathy, and hypertension. (Id.) The ALJ further
found Ms. Chapman did not have an impairment or combination
of impairments meeting or equaling an impairment listed in 20
C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (Tr. 18-19.)
determined Ms. Chapman had the residual functional capacity
to perform a reduced range of light work given her physical
impairments. (Tr. 19.) The ALJ called upon on a vocational
expert to help determine if Ms. Chapman could perform
substantial gainful activity given her residual functional
capacity. (Tr. 50-54.) Based in part on the vocational
expert's testimony, the ALJ concluded Plaintiff could
perform her past relevant work as a telecommunicator. (Tr.
24.) Accordingly, the ALJ determined Ms. Chapman was not
disabled. (Tr. 25.)
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for a review
of the ALJ's decision, making his decision the final
decision of the Commissioner. (Tr. 1-4.) Plaintiff filed the
instant Complaint initiating this appeal. (Doc. No. 2.)
support of her Complaint, Plaintiff says the ALJ's
credibility assessment was flawed. (Doc. No. 12 at 12-15.) I
note this argument also ties into her arguments regarding the
ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment and his
conclusion she could perform her past relevant work because
the residual functional capacity assessment is largely based
on an ALJ's assessment of a claimant's subjective
symptoms. (Id. at 15-17.)
analyzed Ms. Chapman's symptoms in light of Social
Security Ruling 96-8p. (Tr. 19-24.) That ruling tracks
Polaski v. Heckler, 739 F.2d 1320 (8th Cir. 1984),
The absence of an objective medical basis which supports the
degree of severity of subjective complaints alleged is just
one factor to be considered in evaluating the credibility of
the testimony and complaints. The adjudicator must give full
consideration to all of the evidence presented relating to
subjective complaints, including the claimant's prior
work record, and ...