United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge Kristine G. Baker. 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.
Michael Casey, applied for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income benefits on April 16, 2015,
alleging a disability onset date of December 31, 2013. (Tr.
at 15). After conducting a hearing, the Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) denied his application. (Tr. at
28). The Appeals Council denied his request for review. (Tr.
at 1). The ALJ's decision now stands as the final
decision of the Commissioner. Mr. Casey has requested
reasons stated below, this Court should reverse the ALJ's
decision and remand for further review.
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Mr. Casey had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the amended alleged onset date of November 20,
2015. (Tr. at 18). At Step Two, the ALJ found that Mr. Casey
has the following severe impairments: obstructive sleep apnea
and personality disorder. Id.
finding that Mr. Casey's impairment did not meet or equal
a listed impairment (Tr. at 19), the ALJ determined that Mr.
Casey had the residual functional capacity ("RFC")
to perform the full range of work at all exertional levels,
except that he could perform work where: (1) the
interpersonal contact is incidental to the work performed;
(2) the complexity of tasks is learned and performed by rote,
involves few variables, and requires little independent
judgment; and (3) the supervision required is simple, direct,
and concrete. (Tr. at 21). The RFC provides that Mr. Casey
cannot deal with the general public. Id.
determined that Mr. Casey was not capable of performing any
past relevant work. (Tr. at 27). Relying upon the testimony
of the Vocational Expert (“VE”) at Step Five, the
ALJ found that, based on Mr. Casey's age, education, work
experience and RFC, jobs existed in the national economy
which he could perform, specifically hospital cleaner and
garment bagger. (Tr. at 28). Consequently, the ALJ found that
Mr. Casey was not disabled. Id.
Standard of Review
Court's function on review is to determine whether the
Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole and whether it is based on
legal error. Miller v. Colvin, 784 F.3d 472, 477
(8th Cir. 2015); see also 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
While “substantial evidence” is that which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion, “substantial evidence on the record as a
whole” requires a court to engage in a more
“[O]ur review is more than an examination of the record
for the existence of substantial evidence in support of the
Commissioner's decision; we also take into account
whatever in the record fairly detracts from that
decision.” Reversal is not warranted, however,
“merely because substantial evidence would have
supported an opposite decision.”
Reed v. Barnhart, 399 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2005)
not the task of this Court to review the evidence and make an
independent decision. Neither is it to reverse the decision
of the ALJ because there is evidence in the record which
contradicts his findings. The test is whether there is
substantial evidence in the ...