United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
STROTNEY T. BONET PLAINTIFF
COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATON DEFENDANT
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
T. Bonet (“Plaintiff”) brings this action
pursuant to § 205(g) of Title II of the Social Security
Act (“The Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010),
seeking judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) denying his application for Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”) under Title XVI of the
Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate
judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case,
including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final
judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF
No. 10. Pursuant to this authority, the Court
issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a
final judgment in this matter.
protectively filed his SSI application on October 26, 2015.
(Tr. 12). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being
disabled due to back and neck problems, arthritis, and
numbness in his legs. (Tr. 239). Plaintiff alleged an onset
date of October 1, 2015. (Tr. 12). This application was
denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr.
Plaintiff's application was denied, he requested an
administrative hearing on his application, and this hearing
request was granted. (Tr. 9-25). On March 12, 2018, the SSA
held an administrative hearing in El Dorado, Arkansas.
Id. At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was
represented by David Graham. Id. Plaintiff and
Vocational Expert (“VE”) Beverly Majors testified
at this hearing. Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff
testified he was forty-four (44) years old, which is
classified as a “younger person” under 20 C.F.R.
§ 416.963(c). (Tr. 18, Finding 6). Plaintiff also
testified he had a high school education and could
communicate in English. (Tr. 18, Finding 7).
April 25, 2018, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
SSI application. (Tr. 12-20). The ALJ determined Plaintiff
had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity
(“SGA”) since October 26, 2015, his application
date. (Tr. 14, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had
the following severe impairments: lumbar degenerative changes
with L5-S1 protrusions, cervical degenerative changes with
herniation and foraminal stenosis and obesity. (Tr. 15,
Finding 2). Despite being severe, the ALJ also determined
Plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that met or medically equaled one of the listed
impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
(Tr. 15, Finding 3).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined his Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 15-18, Finding 4). Specifically,
the ALJ found Plaintiff retained the following RFC:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 416.967(b) except may occasionally climb ramps and
stairs; never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds;
occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; and,
occasional bilateral overhead reaching.
evaluated his Past Relevant Work (“PRW”) and
determined Plaintiff was unable to perform his PRW. (Tr. 18,
Finding 5). Because he was unable to perform his PRW, the ALJ
then determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to
perform other work existing in significant numbers in the
national economy. (Tr. 19, Finding 9). The VE also testified
at the administrative hearing regarding this issue.
Id. Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following
occupations: (1) price marker (light, unskilled) with 283,
900 such job in the United States; (2) janitor (light,
unskilled) with 136, 000 such jobs in the United States; and
(3) table attendant (light, unskilled) with 60, 000 such jobs
in the United States. Id. Because the ALJ found
Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this other work,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability
(as defined by the Act) at any time since October 26, 2015
(his application date). (Tr. 19, Finding 10).
requested the Appeals Council's review of the ALJ
unfavorable disability determination. On October 15, 2018,
the Appeals Council declined to review the ALJ's
disability determination. (Tr. 1-8). On December 7, 2018,
Plaintiff filed the present appeal. ECF No. 1. The Parties
consented to the jurisdiction of this Court on December 21,
2018. ECF No. 10. This case is now ready for decision.
reviewing this case, this Court is required to determine
whether the Commissioner's findings are supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. See
42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010); Ramirez v. Barnhart,292 F.3d 576, 583 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial evidence is
less than a preponderance of the evidence, but it is enough
that a reasonable mind would find it adequate to support the
Commissioner's decision. See Johnson v. Apfel,240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). 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. See Haley v.
Massanari,258 F.3d 742, 747 (8th Cir. 2001). If, after
reviewing the record, it is possible to ...