United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Leslie Higgins, 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 December 18, 2015. (Tr.
16). In her disability report dated June 3, 2016, Plaintiff
alleged disability beginning on April 21, 2016, due to
depression, a back/neck injury, and polycythemia vera. (Tr.
252, 255). An administrative hearing was held on March 12,
2018, at which Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified.
written decision dated June 1, 2018, the ALJ found that
during the relevant time period, Plaintiff had an impairment
or combination of impairments that were severe: history of
cervical fusion at C4-7; mild lumbar degenerative changes
with disc bulge at L4-5 and scoliosis; polycythemia
vera; and chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease. (Tr. 18). However, after reviewing all of the
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. 18-20). The ALJ
found Plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity
[P]erform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b), with
occasional climbing of ramps/stairs, but no climbing of
ropes, ladders, or scaffolds, and occasional balancing,
stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling. She can only
have occasional exposure to atmospheric conditions, such as
fumes, noxious odors, dusts, mites, gases and poor
ventilation. (Tr. 21-24).
found Plaintiff would be unable to perform her past relevant
work but would be able to perform the representative
occupations of cashier, fast food worker, or storage rental
clerk. (Tr. 24-26).
Plaintiff filed this action. (Doc. 1). This case is before
the undersigned pursuant to the consent of the parties. (Doc.
6). 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
sole argument on appeal is that the ALJ's RFC
determination is unsupported by substantial evidence. (Doc.
15, p. 4). More specifically, Plaintiff objects to the
ALJ's credibility assessment, RFC determination, and not
adopting the final hypothetical he proposed to the VE.
(Id, pp. 5, 7-9). 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 Rules
of Civil Procedure.
 Polycythemia vera is a slow-growing
blood cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many red
blood cells. These excess cells thicken blood, slowing its
flow. They also cause complications, such as blood clots,
which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Without
treatment, polycythemia vera can be life-threatening. But
proper medical care can help ease signs, symptoms and
complications of this disease. Over time, in some cases
there's a risk of progressing to more-serious blood
cancers, such as myelofibrosis or acute leukemia. See