United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Richard Spear, 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 1,
2015, alleging an inability to work since October 25, 2013,
due to degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, bipolar
disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder, psychosis, sleep apnea and obesity.
(Tr. 95-96, 189). For DIB purposes, Plaintiff maintained
insured status through June 30, 2014. (Tr. 14, 191). An
administrative hearing was held on May 20, 2016, at which
Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified. (Tr. 35-55).
written decision dated February 17, 2017, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had an impairment
or combination of impairments that were severe. (Tr. 16).
Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff had the following
severe impairments: degenerative disc disease, obesity, sleep
apnea, bipolar disorder, and affective personality disorder.
after reviewing all of the evidence presented, the ALJ
determined that through the date last insured 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. 16). The ALJ
found that through the date last insured Plaintiff retained
the residual functional capacity (RFC) to:
perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a)
except that he could occasionally climb stairs and ramps,
balance, crawl, kneel, stoop, and crouch. He could not climb
ropes, ladders, or scaffolds. He could frequently finger,
handle, operate foot controls, and reach bilaterally. He was
limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks in a setting
where interpersonal contact was incidental to the work
performed. He could respond to supervision that was simple,
direct, and concrete.
(Tr. 18). With the help of a vocational expert, the ALJ
determined that through the date last insured Plaintiff could
perform work as a compact assembler, an ampoule sealer and an
addressing clerk. (Tr. 26).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which denied that request on January 18,
2018. (Tr. 1-6). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action.
(Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 8). 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 ...