Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Farmer v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

March 2, 2017

KAREN FARMER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1]Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Paul J. Cleary Judge.

         Plaintiff, 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.

         Social Security Law and Standard of Review

         Disability 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.[2] 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).

         Judicial 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).

         “Substantial 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.

         Background

         Farmer 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].[3] 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)].

         The ALJ's Decision

         In his 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 (“RFC”):

[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.

         [R. 305].

         At Step 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.

         Alternatively, 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].

         As a result, the ALJ found that Farmer had not been under a disability since September 15, 2010, the date the application was filed. [R. 313].

         Plaintiff's Allegations

         On appeal, Farmer asserts that the ALJ: (1) erred in his credibility determination and (2) failed to properly ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.