United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
Procedures for filing Objections:
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to District Judge Susan Webber Wright. 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 Wright can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By
not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal
questions of fact.
Demeitra Lasha Smith (“Smith”), applied for
disability benefits on July 16, 2014, alleging disability
beginning on February 28, 2009. (Tr. at 11). After conducting a
hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (AALJ@) denied her
application. (Tr. at 21). The Appeals Council denied her
request for review. (Tr. at 1). The ALJ's decision now
stands as the final decision of the Commissioner, and Smith
has requested judicial review.
reasons stated below, this Court should affirm the decision
of the Commissioner.
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Smith had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since July 16, 2014, the date the application for
Title XVI benefits was filed. (Tr. at 13). The ALJ found, at
Step Two of the sequential five-step analysis, that Smith had
the following severe impairments: left eye blindness,
glaucoma in the right eye, obesity, cardiomegaly/chronic
heart failure (“CHF”), hypertension, and diabetes
Three, the ALJ determined that Smith's impairments did
not meet or equal a listed impairment. (Tr. at 14). Before
proceeding to Step Four, the ALJ determined that Smith had
the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to
perform sedentary work with restrictions: (1) she requires a
sit/stand option that involves standing or walking in
intervals of 10 minutes and sitting in intervals of 60 to 120
minutes; (2) she can perform work that only requires
monocular vision, but she should avoid work that requires
depth perception and or full peripheral vision; and (3) she
should avoid exposure to hazards such as moving mechanical
parts of equipment, tools, or machinery, as well as
electrical shock and unprotected heights. Id.
found that Smith was unable to perform any past relevant
work. (Tr. at 19). Next, the ALJ relied on the testimony of a
Vocational Expert ("VE") to find that, considering
Smith's age, education, work experience and RFC, jobs
existed in significant numbers in the national economy that
she could perform, such as surveillance system monitor and
inspector. (Tr. at 20). Therefore, the ALJ found that Smith
was not disabled. Id.
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 ...