United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
BARRY A. BRYANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Zimmer (“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 Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of 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. 7. Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this
memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment
in this matter.
protectively filed his disability application on December 16,
2015. (Tr. 14). In his application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to an injury in his leg from an auto accident,
degenerative back disease, “three screws in hip chronic
pain, ” problems in both his knees, panic attacks, and
anxiety. (Tr. 199). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of July
20, 2002. (Tr. 14). This application was denied initially and
again upon reconsideration. Id.
requested an administrative hearing in this matter, and this
hearing was held on November 8, 2016 in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
(Tr. 34-62). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was
represented by Nicholas Coleman. Id. Plaintiff and
Vocational Expert (“VE”) Tanya Owen testified at
this hearing. Id.
this administrative hearing, the ALJ entered a fully
unfavorable decision on Plaintiff's application. (Tr.
11-26). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff had not
engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”)
since December 16, 2015, his application date. (Tr. 16,
Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: degenerative disc disease (disorders of
the back-discogenic and degenerative); and injuries post auto
accident. (Tr. 16-17, Finding 2). The ALJ also determined
Plaintiff's 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. 17, Finding 3).
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 capacity to perform the following:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 416.967(b). The claimant could lift and carry 20 pounds
occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; stand and or walk for
6 hours in an 8-hour workday with normal breaks and sit for 6
hours in an 8-hour workday, with normal breaks. Push and pull
limitations pursuant to the lift/carry limitations. The
claimant would be able to stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl
occasionally. Foot control operations on the left would be
Id. The ALJ determined Plaintiff was thirty-six (36)
years old, which is defined as a “younger
individual” under 20 C.F.R. § 416.964(c), on his
date last insured. (Tr. 20, Finding 6). The ALJ also
determined Plaintiff had a limited education and was able to
communicate in English. (Tr. 20, Finding 7).
his RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had no Past Relevant
Work (“PRW”). (Tr. 20, Finding 5). The ALJ then
determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform
other work existing in significant numbers in the national
economy. (Tr. 21-22, Finding 9). The VE testified at the
administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.
upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained
the capacity to perform the requirements of representative
occupations such as the following: (1) assembler (circuit
board) (sedentary, unskilled) with 34, 000 such jobs in the
national economy and 200 such jobs in the region; (2)
document preparer (sedentary, unskilled) with 23, 000 such
jobs in the national economy and 3, 100 in the local region;
and (3) driver (sedentary, unskilled) with 50, 000 such jobs
in the national economy and 1, 500 such jobs in the region.
(Tr. 21). Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform
this other work, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been
under a disability (as defined by the Act) at any time from
December 16, 2015 (application date) through September 25,
2017 (ALJ's decision date). (Tr. 22, Finding 10).
then requested the Appeals Council's review of this
unfavorable decision. On July 9, 2018, the Appeals Council
denied this request for review. (Tr. 1-7). Thereafter, on
September 7, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this
action. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs and
have consented to the jurisdiction of this Court. ECF Nos. 7,
15-16. This case is now ready for decision.