United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Van Winkle (“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 applications for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”), Supplemental Security
Income (“SSI”), and a period of disability under
Titles II and XVI of the Act.
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. 5. 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 applications on August 10,
2015 (DIB) and on September 17, 2015 (SSI). (Tr. 15). In his
applications, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to a back
injury. (Tr. 212). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of May 1,
2014. (Tr. 15). His applications were denied initially and
again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 62-130).
requested an administrative hearing on his denied
applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr.
38-61). Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on
October 2, 2017 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Id. At
this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by
Stanley Brummel. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Lenora Matuk testified at this hearing.
January 10, 2018, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
disability applications. (Tr. 12-30). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act
through December 31, 2018. (Tr. 17, Finding 1). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful
Activity (“SGA”) since May 1, 2014, his alleged
onset date. (Tr. 18, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had the following severe impairments: degenerative disc
disease and brachial neuritis/radiculitis. (Tr. 18-19,
Finding 3). The ALJ also determined Plaintiff did not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that 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. 19, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined his Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 19-24, Finding 5). First, the ALJ
evaluated Plaintiff' subjective complaints and found they
were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had the following RFC:
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 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b) except he can only
occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and climb.
The claimant can also only occasionally reach overhead with
the left upper extremity.
determined Plaintiff was forty-nine (49) years old, which is
defined as a “individual closely approaching advanced
age” under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(d) (2008) and 20
C.F.R. § 416.963(d) (2008), on his alleged disability
onset date. (Tr. 24, Finding 7). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had at least a high school education and was able to
communicate in English. (Tr. 24, Finding 8).
evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and found Plaintiff was unable to perform
any of his PRW. (Tr. 24, Finding 6). The ALJ then considered
whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work
existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr.
24-25, Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative
hearing regarding this issue. Id. Based upon that
testimony, the ALJ found Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform work as a price marker (light, unskilled) with
approximately 304, 746 such jobs in the nation; cashier II
(light, unskilled) with approximately 857, 704 such jobs in
the nation; and hotel housekeeper (light, unskilled) with
approximately 134, 381 such jobs in the nation. Id.
Based upon this finding, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not
been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from May 1,
2014 through the date of the ALJ's decision or through
January 10, 2018. (Tr. 25, Finding 11).
sought review with the Appeals Council. On July 9, 2018, the
Appeals Council denied this request for review. (Tr. 5-7). On
August 27, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this case.
ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal briefs and have
consented to the jurisdiction of this Court. ECF Nos. 5,