United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Sheila Diane Meredith, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of a decision
of the Commissioner of Social Security Administration (the
“Commissioner”) denying her claim for a period of
disability and disability insurance benefits
(“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act
(hereinafter “the Act”), 42 U.S.C. §
423(d)(1)(A). 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. § 405(g).
protectively filed her application on August 11, 2016,
alleging an inability to work since June 2, 2015, due to:
back issues, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, obesity,
depression, anxiety, panic attacks, learning disabilities,
neuropathy in hands and legs, and neck pain. (Tr. 13, 230-31,
249, 253). An administrative hearing was held on March 8,
2018, at which plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified.
(Tr. 13, 58-99).
written decision dated May 2, 2018, the ALJ found that during
the relevant time period, Plaintiff had an impairment or
combination of impairments that were severe: degenerative
disc disease (DDD)(disorders of the back, discogenic, and
degenerative); obesity; anxiety disorders; depressive
disorders, and personality disorders. (Tr. 9, 15). However,
after reviewing all evidence presented, the ALJ determined
that Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or equal the
severity of any impairment listed in the Listing of
Impairments found in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
(Tr. 15-17). The ALJ found Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to:
[P]erform light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) except
as follows: The claimant is able to lift and/or carry 20 lbs.
occasionally and 10 lbs. frequently, and push and/or pull
within the limits for lifting and carrying. She can stand
and/or walk 6 hours out of 8 and sit for 6 hours out of 8
with normal breaks. The claimant can occasionally climb
ramps, stairs, ladders, scaffolds, and ropes. She can
occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The
claimant can perform work where interpersonal contact is
incidental to the work performed, the complexity of tasks is
learned by rote with few variables and little judgment[, ]
where the supervision required is simple, direct, and
concrete. (Tr. 17-21).
the help of a vocational expert, the ALJ found Plaintiff
would be unable to do any of her past relevant work but would
be able perform the representative occupations of a marking
clerk, cleaner/housekeeper, or routing clerk. (Tr. 21-23).
The ALJ found Plaintiff had not been under a disability from
June 2, 2015, through December 31, 2016, the date last
insured. (Tr. 23).
Plaintiff filed this action. (Doc. 1). This case is before
the undersigned pursuant to the consent of the parties. (Doc.
11). 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
raises only one issue on appeal, whether the ALJ's
opinion was supported by substantial evidence. (Doc. 13, p.
1, 6). More specifically, Plaintiff argues the ALJ improperly
discounted opinions from her treating medical providers.
(Id., p. 6). The Court has reviewed the entire
transcript and the parties' briefs. For the reasons
stated in the ALJ's well-reasoned opinion and in the
Government's brief, the Court finds Plaintiff's
arguments on appeal to be without merit and finds 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, 364
Fed.Appx. 307 (8th Cir. 2010)(district court summarily
affirmed the ALJ).
 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 ...