United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
T. ERWIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for
judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of
the Social Security Administration denying Plaintiff's
application for disability insurance benefits under the
Social Security Act. The Commissioner has answered and filed
a transcript of the administrative record (hereinafter
TR.____). The parties have consented to jurisdiction over
this matter by a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
parties have briefed their positions, and the matter is now
at issue. Based on the Court's review of the record and
the issues presented, the Court REVERSES AND
REMANDS the Commissioner's decision.
and on reconsideration, the Social Security Administration
denied Plaintiff's application for benefits. Following an
administrative hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
issued an unfavorable decision. (TR. 13-21). The Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (TR. 1-3).
Thus, the decision of the ALJ became the final decision of
THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION
followed the five-step sequential evaluation process required
by agency regulations. See Fischer-Ross v. Barnhart,
431 F.3d 729, 731 (10th Cir. 2005); 20 C.F.R. §404.1520.
At step one, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 21, 2014,
the alleged disability onset date. (TR. 15). At step two, the
ALJ determined Ms. Baker had the following severe
impairments: diabetes mellitus and neuropathy in both hands
and feet. (TR. 15). At step three, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or medically equal
any of the presumptively disabling impairments listed at 20
C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (TR. 17).
four, the ALJ concluded that Ms. Baker retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to:
[P]erform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except
no lifting or carrying more than 20 pounds occasionally and
10 pounds frequently; pushing/pulling limitations are
consistent with lifting and carrying limitations; stand
and/or walk 2 hours in an 8-hour workday (walk for 30 minutes
at a time; stand 30 minutes at a time); and sit 6-8 hours in
an 8hour workday. The claimant cannot climb ladders, ropes,
or scaffolds. She can occasionally climb stairs, balance,
bend, or stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. She is limited to
concentrated (occasional) vibration, hazardous fast
machinery, and unprotected heights.
(TR. 18). With this RFC, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff was
capable of performing her past relevant work as a Billing
Clerk and a Loan Collector/Processor. (TR. 20). Accordingly,
the ALJ concluded, at step four, that Ms. Baker was not
disabled. (TR. 20-21).
appeal, Plaintiff alleges the ALJ erred in his consideration
of: (1) a consultative examiner's opinion, (2)
Plaintiff's “severe” impairment involving
neuropathy, and (3) Plaintiff's “non-severe”
impairment involving urinary frequency.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court reviews the Commissioner's final “decision to
determin[e] whether the factual findings are supported by
substantial evidence in the record and whether the correct
legal standards were applied.” Wilson v.
Astrue, 602 F.3d 1136, 1140 (10th Cir. 2010).
“Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Id. (quotation omitted).
the court considers whether the ALJ followed the applicable
rules of law in weighing particular types of evidence in
disability cases, the court will “neither reweigh the
evidence nor substitute [its] judgment for that of the
agency.” Vigil v. Colvin, 805 F.3d 1199, 1201
(10th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).
THE CONSULTATIVE ...