United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
JACQUELINE M. FOSTER PLAINTIFF
ANDREW M. SAUL Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
M. Foster (“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 her applications for Supplemental
Security Income (“SSI”), Disability Insurance
Benefits (“DIB”), and a period of disability
under Titles II and XVI of the Act.
to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)
(2009), the Honorable Susan 0. Hickey referred this case to
this Court for the purpose of making a report and
recommendation. In accordance with that referral, and after
reviewing the arguments in this case, this Court recommends
Plaintiff's case be REVERSED AND
protectively filed her disability applications on September
8, 2015. (Tr. 37). In these applications, Plaintiff alleges
being disabled due to chronic back pain, knee problems,
diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression. (Tr.
291). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of September 3, 2014.
(Tr. 37). Her applications were denied initially and again
upon reconsideration. (Tr. 87-185).
requested an administrative hearing on her denied
applications, and this hearing request was granted. (Tr.
56-86). Plaintiff's hearing was held on November 30, 2017
in Little Rock, Arkansas. Id. At this hearing,
Plaintiff was present and was represented by counsel.
Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert
(“VE”) Stefanie A. Ford testified at this
February 14, 2018, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ
entered an unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's
disability applications. (Tr. 34-55). The ALJ determined
Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act
through September 30, 2018. (Tr. 40, Finding 1). The ALJ
determined Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of
the Act through September 30, 2018. (Tr. 40, Finding 1). The
ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial
Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since September 3, 2014,
her alleged onset date. (Tr. 40, Finding 2).
determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments:
lumbar degenerative disc disease; osteoarthritis of the left
knee; major depressive disorder; and posttraumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). (Tr. 40-41, Finding 3). The ALJ also
determined Plaintiff did not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that meet or medically equal the
requirements of any of the Listings of Impairments in
Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Regulations No. 4
(“Listings”). (Tr. 41-43, Finding 4).
decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective
complaints and determined her Residual Functional Capacity
(“RFC”). (Tr. 43-47, Finding 5). First, the ALJ
evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and found
they were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff had the following RFC:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) with occasional stooping,
kneeling, crouching, and crawling. The claimant can
occasionally climb stairs. The claimant can perform work
where interpersonal contact is only incidental to the work
performed; the complexity of tasks is learned by rote with
few variables and little judgment; and the supervision
required is simple, direct, and concrete.
(Tr. 43-47, Finding 5).
determined Plaintiff was forty-five (45) years old, which is
defined as a “younger individual” under 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1563(c) (2008) and 20 C.F.R. § 416.964(c)
(2008), on her alleged disability onset date. (Tr. 46,
Finding 7). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had at least a high
school education and was able to communicate in English. (Tr.
48, Finding 8).
then evaluated Plaintiff's Past Relevant Work
(“PRW”) and found Plaintiff was unable to perform
any of her PRW. (Tr. 47-48, Finding 6). The ALJ also
considered whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform
other work existing in significant numbers in the national
economy. (Tr. 48-49, Fining 10). The VE testified at the
administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.
Based upon that testimony, the ALJ found Plaintiff retained
the capacity to perform work as a document preparer
(sedentary, unskilled) with 46, 000 such jobs in the national
economy and tube operator (sedentary, unskilled) with 3, 100
such jobs in the national economy. Id. In accordance
with this finding, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been
under a disability, as defined by the Act, from September 3,
2014 through the date of his decision or through February 14,
2018. (Tr. 49, Finding 11).
sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 1-7). On October
22, 2018, the Appeals Council denied this request for review.
Id. On December 21, 2018, Plaintiff filed a
Complaint in this case. ECF ...