United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
J. Cleary Judge.
Karen Farmer (“Farmer”), seeks judicial review of
the decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration (“Commissioner”) denying her
application for disability insurance benefits under Title II
of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401 et
seq. For the reasons discussed below, the
Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED.
Security Law and Standard of Review
under the Social Security Act is defined as the
“inability to engage in any substantial gainful
activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or
mental impairment.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). A
claimant is disabled under the Act only if his
“physical or mental impairment or impairments are of
such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous
work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work
experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful
work which exists in the national economy.” 42 U.S.C.
§ 423(d)(2)(A). Social Security regulations implement a
five-step sequential process to evaluate a disability claim.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1520. See also Wall v. Astrue, 561
F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009) (detailing steps). “If
a determination can be made at any of the steps that a
claimant is or is not disabled, evaluation under a subsequent
step is not necessary.” Lax, 489 F.3d 1080,
1084 (10th Cir. 2007) (citation and quotation omitted).
review of the Commissioner's determination is limited in
scope to two inquiries: first, whether the decision was
supported by substantial evidence; and, second, whether the
correct legal standards were applied. Hamlin v.
Barnhart, 365 F.3d 1208, 1214 (10th Cir. 2004).
evidence is such evidence as a reasonable mind might accept
as adequate to support a conclusion. It requires more than a
scintilla, but less than a preponderance.”
Wall, 561 F.3d at 1052 (quotation and citation
omitted). Although the court will not reweigh the evidence,
the court will “meticulously examine the record as a
whole, including anything that may undercut or detract from
the ALJ's findings in order to determine if the
substantiality test has been met.” Id.
was forty-seven years old on the alleged date of onset of
disability and fifty-three on the date of the
Commissioner's final decision. [R. 1, R. 131 (Ex. 1D); R.
311]. She has a high school education. [R. 191
(Ex. 9E)]. She has previous experience as a waitress,
cashier, retail manager and order filler. [R. 178 (Ex. 7E)].
In her application, she claimed to be unable to work as a
result of fibromyalgia. [R. 190 (Ex. 9E)].
decision, the ALJ found that Farmer last met insured status
requirements on December 31, 2015, and, at Step One, that she
had not engaged in any substantial gainful activity since
August 10, 2010, the application date. [R. 303]. He found at
Step Two that Farmer had severe impairments of fibromyalgia
and obesity. Id. At Step Three, he found that the
impairments did not meet or medically equal the severity of
any listing. [R. 304]. He concluded that Farmer had
the following residual functional capacity
[C]laimant has the residual functional capacity to perform
light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b)
with the following limitations. The claimant is able to
occasionally lift and/or carry twenty pounds, frequently lift
and/or carry ten pounds, stand and/or walk for at least six
hours out of an eight-hour workday, and sit at least six
hours out of an eight-hour workday, all with normal breaks.
The claimant is never able to climb such things as scaffolds
or ladders. She needs to avoid hazards or ladders. She needs
to avoid hazards such as unprotected heights. The claimant is
no more than occasionally able to climb such things as ramps
or stairs, or crawl. She is only frequently able to balance,
stoop, kneel and crouch.
Four, the ALJ determined that Farmer is capable of performing
past relevant work, including cashier, DOT #211.462-010
(unskilled work at the light level of exertion [as also
performed by the claimant at medium level]), and retail store
manager, DOT #185.167-046, skilled work at the light level of
exertion, as performed by the claimant at the semi-skilled
level. [R. 310]. He concluded, “[t]his work does not
require the performance of work-related activities precluded
by the claimant's residual functional capacity (20 CFR
04.1565 and 416.965).” Id.
the ALJ determined at Step Five that, based on Farmer's
age, education, work experience and RFC, there are other jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that claimant could also perform, including press machine
operator, DOT #690.685-326, unskilled work at the light level
of exertion, with 149, 000 jobs in the national economy; and
electrical assembler, DOT #729.687-010, unskilled work at the
light level of exertion, with 172, 000 jobs in the national
economy. [R. 312].
result, the ALJ found that Farmer had not been under a
disability since September 15, 2010, the date the application
was filed. [R. 313].
appeal, Farmer asserts that the ALJ: (1) erred in his
credibility determination and (2) failed to properly ...