United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
JEWELL A. SCRIVNER, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
KIMBERLY E. WEST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Jewell A. Scrivner (the “Claimant”) requests
judicial review of the decision of the Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration (the
“Commissioner”) denying Claimant's
application for disability benefits under the Social Security
Act. Claimant appeals the decision of the Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) and asserts that the Commissioner
erred because the ALJ incorrectly determined that Claimant
was not disabled. For the reasons discussed below, it is the
finding of this Court that the Commissioner's decision
should be and is REVERSED and the case is REMANDED to
Defendant for further proceedings.
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 Social Security 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. See, 20
C.F.R.§§ 404.1520, 416.920.
review of the Commissioner's determination is limited in
scope by 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). This Court's review is
limited to two inquiries: first, whether the decision was
supported by substantial evidence; and, second, whether the
correct legal standards were applied. Hawkins v.
Chater, 113 F.3d 1162, 1164 (10th Cir. 1997)(citation
omitted). The term “substantial evidence” has
been interpreted by the United States Supreme Court to
require “more than a mere scintilla. It means such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (quoting
Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229
(1938)). The court may not re-weigh the evidence nor
substitute its discretion for that of the agency. Casias
v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 933 F.2d 799,
800 (10th Cir. 1991). Nevertheless, the court must review the
record as a whole, and the “substantiality of the
evidence must take into account whatever in the record fairly
detracts from its weight.” Universal Camera Corp.
v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 488 (1951); see also,
Casias, 933 F.2d at 800-01.
was 51 years old at the time of the ALJ's decision.
Claimant completed her education through the eleventh grade.
Claimant has worked in the past as a waitress, home health
aide, cook, cashier, and certified nurse assistant. Claimant
alleges an inability to work beginning February 1, 2011 due
to limitations resulting from migraine headaches, back
problems, dizziness, tingling in the legs, mental problems,
chest pain, and high blood pressure.
14, 2008, Claimant protectively filed for disability
insurance benefits under Title II (42 U.S.C. § 401,
et seq.) and for supplemental security income
benefits under Title XVI (42 U.S.C. § 1381, et
seq.) of the Social Security Act. Claimant's
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration.
After an administrative hearing, an Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) denied benefits. The denial was appealed
to the United States District Court for the Northern District
of Oklahoma, which reversed the ALJ's decision and
remanded the case for further proceedings.
the appeal was pending, Claimant filed additional
applications for Title II and XVI benefits on November 18,
2012 and January 15, 2013, respectively. On remand, the ALJ
consolidated the earlier applications filed in 2008 with the
later applications for consideration. On July 1, 2014, ALJ
Deborah Rose conducted an additional administrative hearing
on Claimant's applications. By decision dated August 29,
2014, the ALJ denied Claimant's requests for benefits.
The Appeals Council denied review on April 15, 2016. As a
result, the decision of the ALJ represents the
Commissioner's final decision for purposes of further
appeal. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 416.1481.
of the Administrative Law Judge
made her decision at step five of the sequential evaluation.
She determined that while Claimant suffered from severe
impairments, she did not meet a listing and retained the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
light work with limitations.
Alleged for Review
asserts the ALJ committed error in (1) failing to properly
weigh, discuss, evaluate, and consider all of the medical
evidence; (2) failing to perform a proper analysis at steps
four and five; and ...