United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
MICHAEL E. MCBRIDE PLAINTIFF
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michael E. McBride, 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 his claim for supplemental security
income (SSI) under the provisions of Title 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. § 405(g).
protectively filed his current application for SSI on
December 4, 2015, alleging an inability to work since May 10,
2011, due to sarcoidosis, attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), and sleep apnea. (Tr. 112, 122). An
administrative hearing was held on May 19, 2017, at which
Plaintiff and a vocational expert testified. (Tr. 73-108).
written decision dated September 26, 2017, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had severe
impairments of sarcoidosis, sleep apnea, anxiety, and
affective disorder. (Tr. 28). However, after reviewing all of
the evidence presented, the ALJ determined that
Plaintiff's impairment 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.
(Tr. 29). The ALJ found that Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to perform sedentary work as
defined in 20 CFR 416.967(a), except that Plaintiff must
avoid concentrated exposure to pulmonary irritants like
dusts, odors, chemicals, and gases; he was limited to simple,
routine, and repetitive tasks in a setting where
interpersonal contact was incidental to the work performed;
and he could respond to supervision that was simple, direct,
and concrete. (Tr. 31). With the help of a vocational expert
(VE), the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was able to perform
his past relevant work as a wire worker. (Tr. 33). Therefore,
the ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff had not been under a
disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, from
December 4, 2015, through the date of the decision. (Tr. 33).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, which after considering additional evidence
submitted by Plaintiff, denied that request on May 9,
2018. (Tr. 1-7). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed
this action. (Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned
pursuant to the consent of the parties. (Doc. 7). Both
parties have filed appeal briefs, and the case is now ready
for decision. (Docs. 12, 13).
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).
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED.
 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 Rules
of Civil Procedure.
 With respect to the additional
evidence from the relevant time period that was submitted to
the Appeals Council, the Appeals Council made the following
determination, “We find this evidence does not show a
reasonable probability that it would change the outcome of
the decision. We did not consider and exhibit this
evidence.” The Court notes that, here, as the Court
found in Benoit v. Berryhill, although the Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review and
indicated that it did not consider or exhibit the evidence,
the Appeals Council's decision reflects that the Appeals
Council received the additional records; that it reviewed
these records; ...