United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
H. McCARTHY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
JEFFERSON RONEL HAMPTON, seeks judicial review of a decision
of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
denying Social Security disability benefits. In accordance
with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) & (3), the parties have
consented to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge.
role of the court in reviewing the decision of the
Commissioner under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) is limited to a
determination of whether the decision is supported by
substantial evidence and whether the decision contains a
sufficient basis to determine that the Commissioner has
applied the correct legal standards. See Briggs ex rel.
Briggs v. Massanari, 248 F.3d 1235, 1237 (10');">10th Cir.
2001); Winfrey v. Chater, 10');">1017');">92 F.3d 10');">1017 (10');">10th Cir.
1996); Castellano v. Secretary of Health & Human
Servs., 10');">1027');">26 F.3d 10');">1027, 10');">1028 (10');">10th Cir. 1994). Substantial
evidence is more than a scintilla, less than a preponderance,
and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 1427, 28
L.Ed.2d 842 (1971) (quoting Consolidated Edison Co. v.
NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938)). The court may neither
reweigh the evidence nor substitute its judgment for that of
the Commissioner. Casias v. Secretary of Health &
Human Servs., 993 F.2d 799, 800 (10');">10th Cir. 1991). Even
if the court would have reached a different conclusion, if
supported by substantial evidence, the Commissioner's
decision stands. Hamilton v. Secretary of Health &
Human Servs., 961 F.2d 1495 (10');">10th Cir. 1992).
was 45 years old on the alleged date of onset of disability
and 48 years old on the date of the denial decision. He has a
high school education and past work experience includes a
pipe fitter. Plaintiff claims to have been unable to work
since January 18, 2012 due to back pain radiating to his hips,
legs and feet; neck pain; hand and wrist pain; right foot
pain; and headaches. [R. 138, 160].
determined that Plaintiff has the following severe
impairments: degenerative disc disease of the cervical and
lumbar spine, degenerative joint disease of the right foot,
and status post rotator cuff repair bilaterally. [R. 25]. The
ALJ determined that Plaintiff has the residual functional
capacity to perform light work except he has the ability to
lift or carry, push or pull twenty pounds occasionally, ten
pounds frequently, stand or walk six hours in an eight-hour
workday, and sit six hours in an eight-hour workday.
Plaintiff can occasionally perform overhead reaching, climb,
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl, handle and finger.
[R. 26]. The ALJ determined that although Plaintiff cannot
return to his past relevant work, based on the testimony of
the vocational expert, there are a significant number of jobs
in the national economy that Plaintiff could perform. [R.
21-22]. Accordingly, the ALJ found Plaintiff was not
disabled. The case was thus decided at step five of the
five-step evaluative sequence for determining whether a
claimant is disabled. See Williams v. Bowen, 844
F.2d 748, 750-52 (10');">10th Cir. 1988) (discussing five steps in
asserts the ALJ: 1) failed to recognize bilateral carpal
tunnel syndrome and occipital headaches as severe
impairments; 2) failed to include all of Plaintiff's
limitations in the residual functional capacity (RFC); and 3)
made an improper credibility assessment. [Dkt. 10');">10, p. 1-2].
argues that the ALJ erred at Step 2 by failing to include
carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches as severe impairments.
[Dkt. 10');">10, p. 1-3]. At Step 2 of the evaluative sequence, the
ALJ must determine whether Plaintiff suffers from severe
impairments. That is all that is required of the ALJ at Step
2. Oldham v. Astrue,509 F.3d 1254, 1256 (10');">10th Cir.
2007). Once an ALJ finds that a claimant has at least one
severe impairment, a failure to designate others as
“severe” at Step 2 does not constitute reversible
error because, under the regulations, the agency at later
steps “consider[s] the combined effect of all of [the
claimant's] impairments without regard to whether any
such impairment, if considered separately, would be of
sufficient severity.” 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1521,
416.921; see also 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1525(e), 416.945(e); Mariaz v. Sec'y of Health
& Human Servs.,857 F.2d 240, 244 ...