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Schiebert v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

January 18, 2018

SHERRY A. SCHIEBERT, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          BERNARD M. JONES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Sherry A. Schiebert, seeks judicial review of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) denial of her application for 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. 12], and both parties have briefed their positions.[1] For the reasons stated below, the Court reverses the Commissioner's decision and remands the matter for further proceedings.

         I. Procedural Background

         On February 1, 2016, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an unfavorable decision finding Plaintiff was not disabled and, therefore, not entitled to SSI. AR 11-21. 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.

         II. The ALJ's Decision

         The ALJ 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. § 416.920. Following this process, the ALJ first determined that Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 20, 2014, her amended alleged onset date. AR 13.

         At step two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff suffers from the following severe impairments: obesity, borderline intellectual function, depression, arthritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 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 16-18.

         The ALJ next determined Plaintiff's residual functional capacity (RFC), concluding that:

[Plaintiff can] perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(a) except work must be limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks. [Plaintiff] can occasionally interact with co-workers, supervisors, and public. [Plaintiff] must be free of production rate pace.

Id. at 18.

         At step four, the ALJ determined Plaintiff has no past relevant work, id. at 19, and at step five, relying on a vocational expert's (VE) testimony, the ALJ found Plaintiff can perform work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. Id. at 20-21. Therefore, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff is not disabled for purposes of the Social Security Act. Id. at 21.

         III. Claims Presented for Judicial Review

         Plaintiff alleges the ALJ erred in: (1) either ignoring or rejecting the consultative examiner's opinion that during an eight-hour workday, Plaintiff can only sit for a total of three hours, stand for a total of three hours, and walk for a total of two hours; and (2) either ignoring or rejecting the State agency psychologists' opinions that Plaintiff is capable of performing only “simple 1-2 step instructions.” Pl.'s Br. at 7-14.

         IV. Stand ...


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