United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Kimberly Dawn Williams, 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 a period of disability
and disability insurance benefits (DIB) under the provisions
of Title II 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.
protectively filed her current application for DIB on
February 18, 2015, alleging an inability to work since
November 14, 2014, due to problems with her knees, high blood
pressure, migraine headaches, arthritis, back pain, anxiety,
depression, obesity, joint inflammation and pain, bilateral
carpal tunnel syndrome, and learning disabilities. (Tr.
157-158, 172). For DIB purposes, Plaintiff maintained insured
status through December 31, 2019. (Tr. 158, 172). An
administrative hearing was held on June 20, 2016, at which
Plaintiff appeared and testified. (Tr. 122-143). Larry
Seifert, vocational expert (VE), was also present testified.
written decision dated February 17, 2017, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had severe
impairments of status post bilateral knee replacement;
degenerative disc disease; hypertension; obesity; affective
disorder; and anxiety. (Tr. 100). 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. 100). The ALJ found that Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to perform sedentary work as
defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a), except that she could
occasionally climb, balance, crawl, kneel, stoop, and crouch;
occasionally reach overhead with the right dominant upper
extremity; was limited to simple, routine, repetitive tasks
in a setting where interpersonal contact is incidental to
work performed; and could respond to supervision that was
simple, direct, and concrete. (Tr. 103-108). With the help of
a vocational expert (VE), the ALJ determined that while
Plaintiff was unable to perform her past relevant work as a
child care attendant, there were other jobs that existed in
the national economy that Plaintiff could perform, such as
radio dispatcher, assembler of small products, and office
helper. (Tr. 109). The ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff had
not been under a disability, as defined in the Social
Security Act, from November 14, 2014, through the date of the
decision. (Tr. 109).
then requested a review of the hearing decision by the
Appeals Council, and that request was granted. (Tr. 148-149).
Prior to the Appeals Council issuing an opinion, Plaintiff
submitted additional evidence that was reviewed by the
Appeals Council prior to its decision. (Tr. 4). Upon review,
the Appeals Council issued a written opinion on August 16,
2018, in which it adopted the ALJ's findings under steps
1, 2, 3 and 4. (Tr. 5). At step 5, however, the Appeals
Council determined that the record did not support that
Plaintiff, with her particular RFC, would be able to perform
the positions of radio dispatcher, assembler of small
products, or office helper, in that the Dictionary of
Occupational Titles indicated that the radio dispatcher
position was semi-skilled work, and the assembler of small
products and the office helper positions required light
exertion, all of which exceed Plaintiff's RFC of a
limited range of sedentary work, including that Plaintiff was
limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks. (Tr. 5).
However, the record indicated that, in response to written
interrogatories, the VE indicated that a hypothetical
individual with Plaintiff's RFC could perform
representative occupations such as a document preparation
clerk, a semiconductor bonder, and a compact assembler. (Tr.
5-6, 356-358). Therefore, the Appeals Council determined that
as that hypothetical matched Plaintiff's RFC, and the VE
was able to identify positions existing in significant
numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff would be able
to perform, a finding of not disabled was warranted. (Tr. 6).
Plaintiff filed this action. (Doc. 1). This case is before
the undersigned pursuant to the consent of the parties. (Doc.
5). Both parties have filed appeal briefs, and the case is
now ready for decision. (Docs. 15, 16).
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 ...