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Treadaway v. Berryhill

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

April 1, 2019

JENNIFER L. TREADAWAY 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

         The following Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright. 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.

         I. Introduction:

         Plaintiff, Jennifer L. Treadaway (“Treadaway”), applied for disability benefits on September 29, 2015, alleging disability beginning on September 30, 2013. (Tr. at 20). After conducting a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) denied her application. (Tr. at 32). 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 Treadaway had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date of September 30, 2013. (Tr. at 23). At Step Two, the ALJ found that Treadaway has the following severe impairments: trichotillomania, depressive disorder, and anxiety disorder. (Tr. at 24).

         After finding that Treadaway's impairment did not meet or equal a listed impairment (Tr. at 24), the ALJ determined that Treadaway had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform the full range of work at all exertional levels, except that: (1) she is limited to work where interpersonal contact is incidental to the work performed and where the complexity of tasks is learned and performed by rote, with few variables and little judgment; and (2) she is limited to work where the supervision required is simple, direct, and concrete. (Tr. at 25).

         The ALJ found that, based on his RFC, Treadaway was unable to perform any past relevant work. (Tr. at 30). At Step Five, the ALJ relied on the testimony of a Vocational Expert ("VE") to find that, based on Treadaway's age, education, work experience and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers in the national economy that she could perform, including work as a hand packager, an industrial cleaner, and a general production helper. (Tr. at 31). Thus, the ALJ found that Treadaway 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 because substantial evidence would have supported an opposite decision.”

Reed v. Barnhart, 399 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2005) (citations omitted).

         It is not the task of this Court to review the evidence and make an independent decision. Neither is it to reverse the decision of the ALJ because there is evidence in the record which contradicts his findings. The test is whether there is substantial evidence in the ...


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