United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Samuel Atkinson, 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 his claims for a period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) under the provisions
of Title II 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 his current application for DIB on June 3,
2015, alleging an inability to work since April 7, 2015, due
to his knees, hips, back, shoulders, anxiety, depression,
post-traumatic stress disorder and slight diabetes. (Tr.
108-109, 186). An administrative hearing was held on May 9,
2016, at which Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified.
written decision dated January 4, 2017, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had an impairment
or combination of impairments that were severe. (Tr. 20).
Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: osteoarthritis/degenerative disc disease
of his lumbar spine, mild osteoarthritis of his right
shoulder, left knee effusion, major depressive disorder,
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a history of
traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, after reviewing all of
the evidence presented, the ALJ determined that
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 Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to:
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except he
can only occasionally climb ramps and stairs, he can never
climb ladders, ropes and scaffolds, and he can only
occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl. He must
avoid concentrated exposure to hazards including no driving
as part of work. He is able to perform work where
interpersonal contact with coworkers and supervisors is
incidental to the work performed and there is no contact with
the public. He can perform work where the complexity of tasks
is learned and performed by rote with few variables and
little judgment, and where the supervision required is
simple, direct and concrete.
(Tr. 23). With the help of a vocational expert, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff could perform light work as a deli
cutter slicer, a housekeeping cleaner and an apparel stock
checker; and sedentary work as an addressing clerk, a
pneumatic tube operator and a table worker. (Tr. 29-30).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which denied that request on November 18,
2017 (Tr. 1-6). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action.
(Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 7). 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 ...