United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
TINA M. VAZQUEZ PLAINTIFF
ANDREW M. SAUL,  Commissioner Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Tina M. Vazquez, 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. §
was found to have become disabled as of November 9, 1994, by
an ALJ's decision dated September 18, 1995. (Tr. 11).
Plaintiff's disability was subsequently determined to
have continued in a determination dated May 5, 2003. (Tr.
97-99). Pursuant to the continuing disability review process,
Plaintiff was determined to no longer be disabled as of March
1, 2013. (Tr. 102-105, 135-137, 157-166). A hearing was held
on December 18, 2013, and the cessation of Plaintiff's
disability benefits was affirmed by a decision dated August
8, 2014. (Tr. 66-95, 106-120). Plaintiff appealed the
ALJ's August 8, 2014, decision and the Appeals Council
remanded the case on January 27, 2016. (Tr. 127-131). A
subsequent hearing before an ALJ was held on December 2,
2016, at which Plaintiff, represented by counsel, appeared
and testified. (Tr. 32-65).
written decision dated December 16, 2017, the ALJ found that
as of March 1, 2013, the date Plaintiff's disability
ended, Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity. (Tr. 13). The ALJ found that as of March 1, 2013,
Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: major
depression, fibromyalgia, back pain, migraine headaches,
neuropathy, right eye blindness, scoliosis and carpal tunnel
syndrome. (Tr. 13). However, after reviewing all of the
evidence presented, the ALJ determined that as of March 1,
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;
and therefore the medical improvement occurred as of March 1,
2013. (Tr. 13-14). The ALJ found Plaintiff's medical
improvement is related to the ability to work because, as of
March 1, 2013, Plaintiff no longer had an impairment or
combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the
same listing(s) that was equaled at the time of the CPD. (Tr.
14). The ALJ found that Plaintiff's impairments continued
to be severe as of March 1, 2013. The ALJ found that as of
March 1, 2013, Plaintiff retained the residual functional
capacity (RFC) to:
perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except the claimant is able to frequently climb
ramps, stairs, ladders, ropes, and scaffolds; frequently
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl; and handle and
finger bilaterally on a frequent basis. In addition, she is
limited to jobs that do not require peripheral vision acuity
on the right and jobs that do not require complex written
communication; and must avoid concentrated exposure to fumes,
odors, dusts, gases, and poorly ventilated areas. Further,
she is able to perform jobs in which interpersonal contact is
incidental to the work performed; the complexity of tasks is
learned and performed by rote with few variables and little
judgment; and the supervision required is simple, direct, and
(Tr. 16). With the help of a vocational expert, the ALJ
determined that as of March 1, 2013, Plaintiff could perform
work as a price marker, a plastics molding machine tender,
and a routing clerk. (Tr. 22).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which after reviewing additional evidence
submitted by Plaintiff denied that request on May 1, 2018.
(Tr. 1-5). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action. (Doc.
1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 6). 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).
 Andrew M. Saul, has been appointed to
serve as Commissioner of Social Security, and is substituted
as Defendant, pursuant to Rule 25(d)(1) of the Federal ...