United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Carron (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial review of
the Defendant Acting Commissioner of Social Security's
(Commissioner) final decision she was not
“disabled” under the terms of the Social Security
Act. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g),
423(d)(1)(A). The parties have consented under 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c) to proceed before a United States Magistrate
Judge. Doc. 12.Following a careful review of the
parties' briefs, the administrative record (AR), and the
relevant authority, the court affirms the Commissioner's
Social Security Act defines “disability” as the
“inability to engage in any substantial gainful
activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or
mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or
which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous
period of not less than 12 months.” 42 U.S.C. §
423(d)(1)(A). “This twelve-month duration requirement
applies to the claimant's inability to engage in any
substantial gainful activity, and not just his underlying
impairment.” Lax v. Astrue, 489 F.3d 1080,
1084 (10th Cir. 2007) (citing Barnhart v. Walton,
535 U.S. 212, 218-19 (2002)).
Burden of proof.
“bears the burden of establishing a disability”
and of “ma[king] a prima facie showing that he can no
longer engage in his prior work activity.” Turner
v. Heckler, 754 F.2d 326, 328 (10th Cir. 1985). If
Plaintiff makes that prima facie showing, the burden of proof
then shifts to the Commissioner to show Plaintiff retains the
capacity to perform a different type of work and that such a
specific type of job exists in the national economy.
assigned to Plaintiff's case applied the standard
regulatory analysis and concluded Plaintiff had not met her
burden of proof. AR 11-21; see 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(a)(4), 416.920(a)(4); see also Wall
v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009)
(describing the five-step analysis). Specifically, the ALJ
(1) was severely impaired, first, by disorders of the
cervical and lumbar spine, discogenic and degenerative,
status post C5-7 fusion, second, by chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease, third, by bilateral shoulder impairments,
status post January 2010, October 2013, and September 2014
right shoulder arthroscopies, and fourth, by history of
bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, status post January 2003
left and March 2003 right releases;
(2) did not have an impairment or combination of impairments
that met or medically equaled the severity of a listed
(3) had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform light
work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b) and
416.967(b) except that she can only occasionally climb ramps
and stairs, balance, stoop, kneel and crouch, and crawl,
never climb ropes, ladders, or scaffolds, have no more than
occasional exposure to irritants, such as dusts, fumes,
smokes, gases, and poor ventilation, have no more than
occasional exposure to high humidity and wetness, must avoid
exposure to temperatures of more than 80 degrees and less
than 60 degrees, never work overhead, as to the use of the
upper extremities below overhead level, occasionally reach,
handle, finger, and feel, and must avoid exposure to
industrial type vibration;
(4) could perform no past relevant work;
(5) could perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in
the national economy, such as information clerk, furniture
rental clerk, and photofinishing counter clerk; and so,
(6) had not been under a disability, as defined in the Social
Security Act, from July 5, 2013 through June 26, 2015.
Appeals Council action.
Social Security Administration's (SSA) Appeals Council
found no reason to review that decision. Id. at 1-5.
The ALJ's decision is thus the Commissioner's final
decision. See Krauser v. Astrue, 638 F.3d 1324, 1327
(10th Cir. 2011).
Judicial review of the ...