United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Melissa Sue Johnson, 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 her 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 her current application for SSI on July
17, 2014, alleging an inability to work since July 17, 2014,
to bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, and manic
depressive disorder. (Tr. 29). An administrative hearing was
held on August 11, 2016, at which Plaintiff appeared and
testified. (Tr. 536-574). Deborah Steel, Vocational Expert
(VE), also testified. (Tr. 574-580).
written decision dated June 26, 2017, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had severe
impairments of degenerative disc disease of the cervical and
lumbar spine with chronic pain syndrome; bilateral carpal
tunnel syndrome (CTS), status post-right CTS release surgery;
generalized osteoarthritis; hypothyroidism; obesity;
unspecified episodic mood disorder; major depressive
disorder; anxiety disorder, not otherwise specified (NOS);
and an unspecified personality disorder with cluster B
traits. (Tr. 17). 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. 17). The ALJ
found that Plaintiff retained the residual functional
capacity (RFC) to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR
416.967(a), except for the following:
[Plaintiff] can occasionally climb ramps and stairs; she can
never climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds; she can
occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl; and
she can frequently, but not constantly, handle and finger
bilaterally. [Plaintiff] must avoid concentrated exposure to
temperature extremes, fumes, odors, dusts, gases, poor
ventilation, and hazards, including no driving as a part of
work. [Plaintiff] can further perform work where
interpersonal contact with coworkers and supervisors is
incidental to the work performed and there is no contact with
the public; where the complexity of tasks is learned and
performed by rote, with few variables and little use of
judgment; and where the supervision required is simple,
direct, and concrete.
(Tr. 19-26). With the help of a vocational expert (VE), the
ALJ determined that while Plaintiff was unable to perform any
past relevant work, there were jobs that existed in
significant numbers in the economy that Plaintiff could
perform, such as an addressing clerk, a type copy examiner,
and a compact assembler. (Tr. 27-28). Therefore, the ALJ
concluded that the Plaintiff had not been under a disability,
as defined in the Social Security Act, from July 17, 2014,
through the date of the decision. (Tr. 27).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, and that request was denied on November 17,
2017. (Tr. 5-9). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed this action.
(Doc. 1). This case is before the undersigned pursuant to the
consent of the parties. (Doc. 8). Both parties have filed
appeal briefs, and the case is now ready for decision. (Docs.
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.
 At the August 11, 2016, hearing before
the ALJ, Plaintiff amended her alleged onset date from
October 1, 2011, to July ...