United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
PATTY S. RODGERSON PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Patty S. Rodgerson, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), seeking judicial review of a decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner) denying her claim for a period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) under the provisions
of Title II of the Social Security Act (Act). In this
judicial review, the Court must determine whether there is
substantial evidence in the administrative record to support
the Commissioner's decision. See 42 U.S.C.
protectively filed her current application for DIB on June 3,
2014, alleging an inability to work since October 5, 2012,
to kidney problems, diabetes, nerve damage in the back, and
heart problems. (Tr. 462, 475). For DIB purposes, Plaintiff
maintained insured status through March 31, 2016. (Tr. 462,
475). An administrative video hearing was held on May 27,
2016, at which Plaintiff and a vocational expert testified.
written decision dated December 27, 2016, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had severe
impairments of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure,
diabetes mellitus, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and depression.
(Tr. 164). However, after reviewing all of the evidence
presented, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff's impairment
did not meet or equal the level of severity of any impairment
listed in the Listing of Impairments found in Appendix I,
Subpart P, Regulation No. 4. (Tr. 165-167). The ALJ found
that Plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity
(RFC) to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b),
except for the following:
[C]laimant can frequently use foot controls with her right
lower extremity on a frequent (but not continuous) basis. The
claimant is able to perform work where interpersonal contact
is routine but superficial, the complexity of tasks is
learned by experience with several variables, and requires
judgment within limits, and the supervision required is
little for routine, but detailed for non-routine. Finally,
the claimant must avoid even moderate exposure to hazardous
machinery and unprotected heights.
167-172). With the help of a vocational expert (VE), the ALJ
determined that Plaintiff was able to perform her past
relevant work as a medical records clerk. (Tr. 172). The ALJ
concluded that the Plaintiff had not been under a disability,
as defined in the Social Security Act, from October 5, 2012,
the amended alleged onset date, through March 31, 2016, the
date last insured. (Tr. 173).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which after reviewing additional medical
evidence submitted by the Plaintiff, denied that request on
December 21, 2017. (Tr. 1-5). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed
this action. (Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned
pursuant to the consent of the parties. (Doc. 6). Both
parties have filed appeal briefs, and the case is now ready
for decision. (Docs. 11, 12).
Court's role is to determine whether the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole. Ramirez v.
Barnhart, 292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial
evidence is less than a preponderance but it is enough that a
reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. The ALJ's decision must be
affirmed if the record contains substantial evidence to
support it. Edwards v. Barnhart, 314 F.3d 964, 966
(8th Cir. 2003). As long as there is substantial evidence in
the record that supports the Commissioner's decision, the
Court may not reverse it simply because substantial evidence
exists in the record that would have supported a contrary
outcome, or because the Court would have decided the case
differently. Haley v. Massanari, 258 F.3d 742, 747
(8th Cir. 2001). In other words, if after reviewing the
record it is possible to draw two inconsistent positions from
the evidence and one of those positions represents the
findings of the ALJ, the decision of the ALJ must be
affirmed. Young v. Apfel, 221 F.3d 1065, 1068 (8th
Court has reviewed the entire transcript and the parties'
briefs. For the reasons stated in the ALJ's well-reasoned
opinion and the Government's brief, the Court finds
Plaintiff's arguments on appeal to be without merit and
finds that the record as a whole reflects substantial
evidence to support the ALJ's decision. Accordingly, the
ALJ's decision is hereby summarily affirmed and
Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
See Sledge v. Astrue, No. 08-0089, 2008 WL 4816675
(W.D. Mo. Oct. 31, 2008) (summarily affirming ALJ's
denial of disability benefits), aff'd, 364
Fed.Appx. 307 (8th Cir. 2010).
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED
 Nancy A. Berryhill, has been appointed
to serve as acting Commissioner of Social Security, and is
substituted as Defendant, pursuant to Rule 25(d)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
 At the September 4, 2015, hearing
before the ALJ, Plaintiff amended her alleged onset date from
October 5, 2011 to ...