United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern 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.
Lorrie Lannette Henley, applied for disability benefits on
August 27, 2015, alleging a disability onset date of April 1,
2012. (Tr. at 13). The application was denied
initially and upon reconsideration Id. After
conducting a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) denied Ms. Henley's claim. (Tr. at
24). 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 Ms. Henley has requested
judicial review. For the reasons stated below, the Court
should affirm the decision of the Commissioner.
The Commissioner's Decision:
found that Ms. Henley had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since the amended alleged onset date of August 31,
2015. (Tr. at 16). At Step Two of the sequential five-step
analysis, the ALJ found that Ms. Henley had the following
severe impairments: degenerative disc disease, anemia,
seizure disorder, depressive disorder, bipolar disorder,
generalized anxiety disorder, and chronic pain syndrome.
found that Ms. Henley's impairment did not meet or equal
a listed impairment. Id. Before proceeding to Step
Four, the ALJ determined that Ms. Henley had the residual
functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform work at
the light level, with limitations. (Tr. at 18). She should be
allowed to sit or stand at will while performing work duties.
Id. She could occasionally climb ramps and stairs.
Id. She could never climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds. Id. She could occasionally balance,
stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. Id. She could never
work at unprotected heights. Id. She could never be
exposed to workplace hazards. Id. She could perform
simple, routine, repetitive tasks. Id. She must have
supervision that is simple, direct, and concrete.
Id. She would be limited to work that can be learned
in 30 days or less, and that is classified as unskilled work
in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles
next found that Ms. Henley was unable to perform any of her
past relevant work. (Tr. at 22). The ALJ relied on the
testimony of a Vocational Expert ("VE") to find
that, considering Ms. Henley's age, education, work
experience and RFC, jobs existed in significant numbers in
the national economy that she could perform, such as storage
facility clerk, with 50, 000 jobs available in the national
economy, and parking enforcement officer, with 8, 000
positions available in the national economy. (Tr. at 24).
Therefore, the ALJ found that Ms. Henley was not disabled.
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 record as a whole which supports
the decision of the ALJ. Miller, 784 F.3d at 477.
The Court has ...