Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Chapman v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

March 18, 2019

VICKI J. CHAPMAN PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration, DEFENDANT

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          JOE J. VOLPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         INSTRUCTIONS

         This 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.

         RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         Plaintiff, 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.

         A 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 Cir. 1996).

         In 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.

         Plaintiff is fifty-two years old. (Tr. 35.) She is a high school graduate (id.) and has past relevant work as a telecommunicator. (Tr. 24.)

         The ALJ[1] 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.[2] (Tr. 18-19.)

         The ALJ 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.)

         The 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.)

         In 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.)

         The ALJ 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), which states:

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 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.