United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division
Procedures for filing Objections:
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to District Judge Brian S. Miller. You may file
written objections to this Recommendation. If you file
objections, they must be specific and must include the
factual or legal basis for your objection.
objections must be received in the office of the United
States District Court Clerk within fourteen (14) days of this
objections are filed, Judge Miller can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By
not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal
questions of fact.
Raelynn Cowan (“Cowan”), applied for disability
benefits on July 29, 2016, alleging a disability onset date
of April 13, 2016. (Tr. at 64). After conducting a hearing,
the Administrative Law Judge (''ALJ'') denied
her application. (Tr. at 76). The Appeals Council denied her
request for review. (Tr. at 1). The ''LJ's
decision now stands as the final decision of the
Commissioner, and Cowan has requested judicial review.
reasons stated below, this Court should affirm the decision
of the Commissioner.
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Cowan had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the alleged onset date of April 13, 2016 (Tr.
at 66). The ALJ found, at Step Two of the sequential
five-step analysis, that Cowan had the following severe
impairments: past history of knee surgeries, fibromyalgia,
rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), and depression. Id.
Three, the ALJ determined that Cowan's impairments did
not meet or equal a listed impairment. Id. Before
proceeding to Step Four, the ALJ determined that Cowan had
the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to
perform light work with restrictions: 1) she could only
occasionally stoop, crouch, bend, kneel, crawl, and balance;
2) she could perform work that is simple, routine, and
repetitive, with supervision that is simple, direct, and
concrete; and 3) she could occasionally interact with the
public and frequently interact with co-workers and
supervisors. (Tr. at 68).
found that Cowan was unable to perform any past relevant
work. (Tr. at 75). Next, the ALJ relied on the testimony of a
Vocational Expert ("VE") to find that, considering
Cowan's age, education, work experience and RFC, jobs
existed in significant numbers in the national economy that
she could perform, such as rental clerk and office helper.
(Tr. at 76). Therefore, the ALJ found that Cowan was not
Standard of Review
Court's role is to determine whether the
Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial
evidence. Prosch v. Apfel,201 F.3d 1010, 1012 (8th
Cir. 2000). ''Substantial evidence-in this context
means less than a preponderance but more than a scintilla.
Slusser v. Astrue,557 F.3d 923, 925 (8th Cir.
2009). In other words, it is ''enough that a
reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
ALJ's decision.'' Id. (citation
omitted). The Court must consider not only evidence that
supports the Commissioner's decision, but also evidence
that supports a contrary outcome. The Court cannot reverse
the decision, however, ''merely because ...