United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
Recommended Disposition (Recommendation) has been sent to
Judge Brian S. Miller. Either party may file written
objections to this Recommendation. If objections are filed,
they should be specific and should include the factual or
legal basis for the objection.
considered, objections must be received in the office of the
Court Clerk within 14 days of this Recommendation. If no
objections are filed, Judge Miller can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By
not objecting, parties may also waive the right to appeal
questions of fact.
7, 2016, Sharee Harrell applied for disability benefits,
alleging disability beginning July 17, 2014. (Tr. at 9) Her
claims were denied both initially and upon reconsideration.
Id. After conducting a hearing, the Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ) denied her application. (Tr. at 18). Ms.
Harrell requested that the Appeals Council review the
ALJ's decision, but that request was denied. (Tr. at 1)
Therefore, the ALJ's decision now stands as the final
decision of the Commissioner. Ms. Harrell, appearing pro
se, filed this case seeking judicial review of the
decision denying his benefits.
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Ms. Harrell had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date of July 17, 2014. (Tr.
at 11) At step two of the five-step analysis, the ALJ found
that Ms. Harrell had the following severe impairments:
plantar fasciitis and degenerative joint disease.
finding that Ms. Harrell's impairments did not meet or
equal a listed impairment (Tr. at 12), the ALJ determined
that Ms. Harrell had the residual functional capacity (RFC)
to perform the full range of work at the sedentary level,
with some additional limitations. (Tr. at 12). She could only
occasionally climb ramps and stairs and could never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. Id.
next found that Ms. Harrell had no past relevant work. (Tr.
at 16) At step five, the ALJ relied on the testimony of a
Vocational Expert (VE) to find that, based on Ms.
Harrell's age, education, work experience and RFC, she
was capable of performing work in the national economy as
either a telephone marketer or an appointment clerk. (Tr. at
17) Based on this determination, the ALJ held that Ms.
Harrell was not disabled. Id.
Standard of Review
appeal, the Court must review the Commissioner's decision
for legal error and assure that the decision is supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. Brown v.
Colvin, 825 F.3d 936, 939 (8th Cir. 2016) (citing
Halverson v. Astrue, 600 F.3d 922, 929 (8th Cir.
2010)). Stated another way, the decision must rest on enough
evidence that “a reasonable mind would find it adequate
to support [the] conclusion.” Halverson, 600
F.3d at 929. The Court will not reverse the decision,
however, solely because there is evidence to support a
conclusion different from that reached by the Commissioner.
Pelkey v. Barnhart, 433 F.3d 575, 578 (8th Cir.
Harrell's Arguments on Appeal
Harrell maintains that substantial evidence does not support
the ALJ's decision to deny benefits. She argues that the
RFC did not fully incorporate her limitations. After
reviewing the record as a whole, the Court concludes that the
ALJ did not err in denying benefits.
Harrell's main impairment was foot pain. X-rays from 2015
showed flattening of the arch and Boehler's angle of
calcaneus. (Tr. at 261) She had degenerative joint space
narrowing but no acute fractures or soft tissue swelling.
Id. The only other evidence of record consists of
three visits to podiatrist Eddy L. Caldwell, D.P.M. Ms.
Harrell did not see Dr. Caldwell until 2016, two years into
the relevant time period for evaluation of disability. The
failure to seek ...