Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gregory v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

May 9, 2019

DOUGLAS ALLEN GREGORY PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Douglas Allen Gregory, (“Plaintiff”) brings this action pursuant to § 205(g) of Title II of the Social Security Act (“The Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010), seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denying his application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Act.

         The 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. 10. Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.

         1. Background:

         Plaintiff protectively filed his application for DIB on October 5, 2015. (Tr. 136-137). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to broken heel, heart attack, arthritis, numbness of arm, limited vision, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. (Tr. 149). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of June 15, 2012. Id.. His application was denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 11).

         Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on his denied application. (Tr. 84-85). This hearing request was granted and Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on November 3, 2016. (Tr. 23-49). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by counsel, Michael Angel. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Charles Turner testified at the hearing. Id. At the time of the hearing, Plaintiff was fifty (50) years old and had a high school education. (Tr. 29).

         Following the hearing, on March 1, 2017, the ALJ entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's application for DIB. (Tr. 11-19). In this decision, the ALJ determined Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2017. (Tr. 13, Finding 1). The ALJ also determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since January 17, 2016. (Tr. 13, Finding 2).

         The ALJ found Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: history of heart attack, history of left heel fracture, and anxiety. (Tr. 13, Finding 3). 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. 14, Finding 4).

         In this decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and determined his RFC. (Tr. 15-17, Finding 5). 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 perform light work, except he can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, balance, stoop, crouch, and crawl, and can perform unskilled work with only occasional contact with supervisors, coworkers and the general public. Id.

         The ALJ then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 18, Finding 6). The ALJ determined Plaintiff was unable to perform any PRW. Id. The ALJ, however, also determined there was other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy Plaintiff could perform. (Tr. 18, Finding 10). 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 motel cleaner with approximately 350, 000 to 370, 000 such jobs in the nation and machine tender with approximately 300, 000 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 January 17, 2016 through the date of decision. (Tr. 19, Finding 11).

         Thereafter, Plaintiff requested the Appeals Council's review of the ALJ's decision. (133-135). The Appeals Council denied this request for review. (Tr. 1-5). On June 15, 2018, Plaintiff filed the present appeal. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs. ECF Nos. 19, 22. This case is now ready for decision.

         2. Applicable Law:

         It is 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. § 423(d)(1)(A).

         To 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. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.