United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Marshall, (“Plaintiff”) brings this action
pursuant to § 205(g) of Title XVI of the Social Security
Act (“The Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 1382, seeking
judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of
the Social Security Administration (“SSA”)
denying his application for Supplemental Security Income
(“SSI”) under Title XVI of the Act.
Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate
judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case,
including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final
judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF
No. 5. Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this
memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment
in this matter.
protectively filed his application on March 30, 2015. (Tr.
13). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled
due to: bipolar and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
with an alleged onset date of March 30, 2015. (Tr. 166). This
application was denied initially and again upon
reconsideration. (Tr. 10). Plaintiff requested an
administrative hearing and that administrative hearing was
held on April 17, 2017. (Tr. 29-44). At this hearing,
Plaintiff was present and was represented by counsel, Gregory
Giles. Id. Plaintiff and a Vocational Expert
(“VE”) testified at the hearing. Id. At
the time of the hearing, Plaintiff was twenty (20) years old
and had completed part of the tenth grade. (Tr. 32-33).
the hearing, on June 8, 2017, the ALJ entered an unfavorable
decision. (Tr. 10-21). The ALJ found Plaintiff had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since his alleged
onset date. (Tr. 15, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had the following severe impairments: posttraumatic stress
disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and major depressive
disorder, recurrent, moderate. (Tr. 15, Finding 2). Despite
being severe, the ALJ determined those impairments did not
meet or medically equal the requirements of any of the
Listings of Impairments in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of
Regulations No. 4 (“Listings:”). (Tr. 15-16,
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined his RFC. (Tr.17-20, Finding 4).
First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and found his claimed limitations were not
entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ determined
Plaintiff retained the RFC to:
[P]erform a full range of work at all exertional levels but
with the following nonexertional limitations: claimant can
maintain attention and concentration sufficiently to perform
simple, routine work tasks. Claimant can occasionally
interact with coworkers, supervisors, and public.
found Plaintiff had no Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”). (Tr. 20, Finding 5). The ALJ also
determined there was other work existing in significant
numbers in the national economy Plaintiff could perform. (Tr.
20-21, Finding 9). The ALJ based this determination upon the
testimony of the VE. Id. Specifically, the VE
testified that given all Plaintiff's vocational factors,
a hypothetical individual would be able to perform the
requirements of representative occupations such as a laundry
laborer with approximately 335, 568 such jobs in the nation,
housekeeper with approximately 552, 965 such jobs in the
nation, sorter with 457, 222 jobs in the nation, stone setter
with 182, 221 jobs in the nation, or a lens inserter with
approximately 220, 864 such jobs in the nation. Id.
Based upon this finding, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not
been under a disability, as defined in the Act, from his
onset date of March 30, 2015, through the date of the
decision. (Tr. 21, Finding 10).
March 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed the present appeal. ECF No. 1.
Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 12, 13. This
case is now ready for decision.
well-established that a claimant for Social Security
disability benefits has the burden of proving his or her
disability by establishing a physical or mental disability
that lasted at least one year and that prevents him or her
from engaging in any substantial gainful activity. See
Cox v. Apfel, 160 F.3d 1203, 1206 (8th Cir. 1998); 42
U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(1)(A), 1382c(a)(3)(A). The Act
defines a “physical or mental impairment” as
“an impairment that results from anatomical,
physiological, or psychological abnormalities which are
demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory
diagnostic techniques.” 42 U.S.C. §§
423(d)(3), 1382(3)(c). A plaintiff must show that his or her
disability, not simply his or her impairment, has lasted for
at least twelve consecutive months. See 42 U.S.C.
determine whether the adult claimant suffers from a
disability, the Commissioner uses the familiar five-step
sequential evaluation. He determines: (1) whether the
claimant is presently engaged in a “substantial gainful
activity”; (2) whether the claimant has a severe
impairment that significantly limits the claimant's
physical or mental ability to perform basic work activities;
(3) whether the claimant has an impairment that meets or
equals a presumptively disabling impairment listed in the
regulations (if so, the claimant is disabled without regard
to age, education, and work experience); (4) whether the
claimant has the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) to
perform his or her past relevant work; and (5) if the
claimant cannot perform the past work, the burden shifts to
the Commissioner to prove that there are other jobs in the
national economy that the claimant can perform. See
Cox, 160 F.3d at 1206; 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)-(f). The fact finder only considers the
plaintiff's age, education, and work experience in light
of his or her RFC if the final stage of this analysis is
reached. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520,