United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Brandy Gotter, 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 supplemental security
income (SSI) under the provisions of Title XVI 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. § 405(g).
protectively filed her current application for SSI on
September 25, 2013, alleging an inability to work since
January 23, 2013, due to bulging discs, abdominal issues,
carpel tunnel syndrome in both hands, and bipolar disorder.
(Tr. 90, 106). An administrative hearing was held on February
11, 2015, at which Plaintiff and a vocational expert
testified. (Tr. 51-88). A supplemental hearing was held on
January 19, 2016, and Larry Seifert, a Vocational Expert, was
the only witness to testify. (Tr. 37-50).
written decision dated July 28, 2016, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had severe
impairments of obesity; mild degenerative disc disease of the
thoracic spine; mild bilateral hip degenerative arthrosis;
mild bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, status post-surgery;
migraines; history of multiple abdominal surgeries; bipolar
disorder; and obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Tr. 12).
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. 12-14). 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
[Plaintiff] is limited to occasional climbing of ramps and
stairs; no climbing of ladders, ropes, or scaffolds;
occasional balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and
crawling; occasional handling and fingering bilaterally; and
avoidance of concentrated exposure to hazards including no
driving as part of work. The claimant is further able to
perform work where interpersonal contact is incidental to the
work performed, the complexity of tasks is learned and
performed by rote, with few variables and little use of
judgment, and the supervision required is simple, direct, and
(Tr. 14-22). With the help of a vocational expert (VE), the
ALJ determined that although Plaintiff was unable to perform
her past relevant work, there were jobs that existed in
significant numbers in the economy that Plaintiff could
perform, such as a blending tank tender, a laminating machine
off-bearer, and a groover and striper operator. (Tr. 23,
79-80). Therefore, the ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff had
not been under a disability, as defined in the Social
Security Act, from September 25, 2013, through the date of
the decision. (Tr. 24).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, and that request was denied on August 11,
2011. (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.
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