United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
MELISSA K. SCOTT PLAINTIFF
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Melissa K. Scott, 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 claims for a period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental
security income (SSI) benefits under the provisions of Titles
II and 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. §
protectively filed her current applications for DIB and SSI
on May 23, 2015, alleging an inability to work since June 19,
2008,  due to fibromyalgia, clinical severe
depression, general/social anxiety disorder, ocular
migraines, severe neck and head pain, homebound, chronic
fatigue syndrome, light/heat/sound sensitivity, severe
brain/mind fogginess, shaky hands and bad balance. (Tr. 60,
208, 215). For DIB purposes, Plaintiff maintained insured
status through December 31, 2013. (Tr. 18, 221). An
administrative hearing was held on August 5, 2016, at which
Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified. (Tr. 36-59).
written decision dated September 12, 2016, the ALJ found
Plaintiff was not disabled prior to February 12, 2014, but
that Plaintiff became disabled on February 12, 2014, and
remained disabled through the date of the decision. (Tr.
18-27). Specifically, the ALJ found that since October 9,
2013, Plaintiff had the following severe impairments:
migraines, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety. (Tr. 20).
The ALJ found that beginning on the established onset date of
disability, February 12, 2014, Plaintiff had the additional
severe impairments: chronic fatigue syndrome, vitamin B12
deficiency anemia, major depressive disorder and social
anxiety disorder. (Tr. 20). After reviewing all of the
evidence presented, the ALJ determined that since October 9,
2013, Plaintiff's impairments 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. 21). The ALJ found that prior to February 12, 2014, the
date Plaintiff became disabled, Plaintiff retained the
residual functional capacity (RFC) to:
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except she can understand, remember, and carry out
more than simple, but no complex tasks or instructions.
(Tr. 22). The ALJ found that beginning on February 12, 2014,
Plaintiff maintained the RFC to:
perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and
416.967(a) except she can understand, remember, and carry out
more than simple but not complex tasks or instructions; and
would miss work more than four days per month.
(Tr. 25). With the help of a vocational expert, the ALJ found
that prior to February 12, 2014, Plaintiff was capable of
performing her past relevant work as a telephone sales rep or
customer service rep. (Tr. 25). The ALJ found that as of
February 12, 2014, there are no jobs that exist in
significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff
can perform. (Tr. 26).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which denied that request on December 18,
2017. (Tr. 1-4). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action.
(Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 5). 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).
 At the administrative hearing held
before the ALJ, Plaintiff, through her counsel, amended her
alleged onset date to ...