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Drew v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division

March 21, 2019

BRENDA DREW PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, performing the duties and functions not reserved to the Commissioner of Social Security DEFENDANT

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          THOMAS RAY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         The 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.

         1. Introduction:

         Plaintiff, Brenda Drew (“Drew”), applied for disability benefits on August 2, 2015, alleging disability beginning on July 17, 2015. (Tr. at 12). After conducting a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied her application. (Tr. at 22). The Appeals Council denied her request for review. (Tr. at 1). Thus, the ALJ's decision now stands as the final decision of the Commissioner.

         For the reasons stated below, the Commissioner's decision should be affirmed.

         II. The Commissioner's Decision:

         The ALJ found that Drew had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date of July 17, 2015. (Tr. at 14). At Step Two, the ALJ found that Drew has the following severe impairments: left shoulder adhesive capsulitis, migraine headaches, and anxiety disorder. Id.

         After finding that Drew's impairments did not meet or equal a listed impairment (Tr. at 15), the ALJ determined that Drew had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform the full range of light work, except that: (1) she cannot perform any overhead reaching duties with the left upper extremity; (2) she is limited to work where interpersonal contact is routine but superficial and complexity of tasks is learned by experience with several variables and judgment within limits; and (3) she requires little supervision for routine, work-related tasks, and detailed supervision for non-routine work-related tasks. (Tr. at 17).

         The ALJ found that, based on his RFC, Drew was able to perform past relevant work as payroll clerk and invoice clerk. (Tr. at 22). Thus, the ALJ found that Drew was not disabled. Id.

         III. Discussion:

         A. 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 ...

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