United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
BERNARD M. JONES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Leeann Joy Coleman, seeks judicial review of the Social
Security Administration's denial of her applications for
disability insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental security
income (SSI). The parties have consented to the exercise of
jurisdiction over this matter by a United States Magistrate
Judge. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). The Commissioner
has filed the Administrative Record (AR) [Doc. No. 14], and
both parties have briefed their positions. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court affirms the Commissioner's
November 30, 2015, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued
an unfavorable decision finding Plaintiff was not disabled
and, therefore, not entitled to DIB or SSI. AR 12-24. The
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review.
Id. at 1-3. Accordingly, the ALJ's decision
constitutes the Commissioner's final decision. See
Krauser v. Astrue, 638 F.3d 1324, 1327 (10th Cir. 2011).
Plaintiff timely commenced this action for judicial review.
The ALJ's Decision
followed the five-step sequential evaluation process required
by agency regulations. See Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d
1048, 1051 (10th Cir. 2009) (explaining process); see
also 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920. Following
this process, the ALJ first determined that Plaintiff meets
the insured status requirements for DIB through December 31,
2018, and has not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since July 7, 2013, her alleged onset date. AR 14.
two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff suffers from the following
severe impairments: morbid obesity, asthma, diabetes
mellitus, essential hypertension, cardiomyopathies status
post congestive heart failure, obstructive sleep apnea,
degenerative disc disease, pulmonary edema, major depressive
disorder, and panic disorder without agoraphobia.
Id. At step three, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff's impairments do not meet or medically equal
any of the impairments listed at 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart
P, App. 1. Id. at 15-18.
next determined Plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(RFC), concluding that:
[Plaintiff can] lift and carry 10 pounds occasionally and
less than 10 pounds frequently. [Plaintiff] can sit for about
6 hours during an eight-hour workday and can stand and walk
for at least 2 hours during an eight-hour workday.
[Plaintiff] can occasionally climb ramps and stairs, balance,
stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. [Plaintiff] cannot climb
ladders, ropes or scaffolds. [Plaintiff] can occasionally
reach overhead. [Plaintiff] is to avoid concentrated exposure
to dusts, fumes, gases, odors, and poor ventilation.
[Plaintiff] can understand, remember, and carry out simple,
routine, and repetitive tasks. [Plaintiff] can respond
appropriately to supervisors, co-workers, and usual work
situations, but have occasional contact with the general
Id. at 19.
four, the ALJ determined Plaintiff is unable to perform any
past relevant work. Id. at 22. At step five, relying
on a vocational expert's (VE) testimony, the ALJ found
Plaintiff can perform other work existing in significant
numbers in the national economy. Id. at 23-24.
Therefore, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff is not disabled
for purposes of the Social Security Act. Id. at 24.
Claims Presented for Judicial Review
alleges the ALJ erred in: (1) rejecting the consultative
examiner's opinion that Plaintiff's mental
impairments would “likely interfere with her ability
to adapt to a competitive work environment”; and (2)
failing to consider the impact of Plaintiff's severe
obesity in the RFC assessment. Pl.'s Br. at 7-15.