United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division
ROGER W. PECKENPAUGH PLAINTIFF
ANDREW SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
Chief District Judge Brian S. Miller. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objections; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the
right to appeal questions of fact.
Roger W. Peckenpaugh (“Peckenpaugh”), applied for
disability benefits on April 29, 2014, alleging disability
beginning on April 22, 2008. (Tr. at 15). After conducting a
hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)
denied his application on April 26, 2017. (Tr. at 176-196).
The Appeals Council reviewed the claim and, on December 13,
2017, it remanded the case for another hearing, issuing the
1) Proffer Exhibits 12F, 13F, 14F, 15F, 16F, and
2) Further evaluate the mental impairments with evidentiary
findings and appropriate rationale;
3) Give additional consideration to Maximum Residual
Functional Capacity with evidentiary support for limitations,
explaining the weight given to opinion evidence and
evaluating non-treating source opinions; and
4) Expand the record if warranted, incorporating limitations
established in the record into the Maximum Residual
Functional Capacity and have the vocational expert identity
jobs and resolve any conflict.
(Tr. at 15, 197-200).
subsequent hearing was held on April 2, 2018, after which the
ALJ denied the claim for benefits. (Tr. at 15, 29). The
Appeals Council denied Peckenpaugh's request for review
on August 24, 2018. (Tr. at 1-6). Thus, the ALJ's
decision now stands as the final decision of the
Commissioner. Peckenpaugh has filed a Complaint seeking
judicial review from this Court.
reasons stated below, the Court concludes that the
Commissioner's decision should be affirmed.
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Peckenpaugh had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity during the period from his alleged onset date of
January 21, 2012 through his date last insured of June 30,
2016 (Tr. at 18). At Step Two, the ALJ found that Peckenpaugh
has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc
disease of the lumbar spine and two surgeries, irritable
bowel syndrome, chronic pain syndrome, dysthymic disorder,
anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
finding that Peckenpaugh's impairments did not meet or
equal a listed impairment (Tr. at 18), the ALJ determined
that Peckenpaugh had the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform the full range of sedentary
work, except that: (1) he should avoid exposure to hazards
such as moving mechanical parts of equipment, tools, or
machinery, and avoid electrical shock and unprotected
heights; (2) he can understand, remember, and carry out
simple job instructions; (3) he can make decisions and
judgments in simple work-related situations; (4) he can
occasionally respond appropriately to co-workers and
supervisors, and incidental contact is not required to
perform the work; (5) he should not perform work where
interaction with the public is required; and (6) he can
respond appropriately to minor changes in the usual work
routine. (Tr. at 20).
found that, based on his RFC, Peckenpaugh was unable to
perform any past relevant work. (Tr. at 27). At Step Five,
the ALJ relied on the testimony of a Vocational Expert
("VE") to find that, based on Peckenpaugh's
age, education, work experience and RFC, jobs existed in
significant numbers in the national economy that he could
perform, including work as an addresser ...