United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
J. CLEARY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Micheale Hausher, seeks judicial review of a decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying
Social Security disability benefits. In accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c)(1) & (3), the parties have consented to
proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge.
role of the court in reviewing the decision of the
Commissioner under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) is limited to a
determination of whether the record as a whole contains
substantial evidence to support the decision and whether the
correct legal standards were applied. See Briggs ex rel.
Briggs v. Massanari, 248 F.3d 1235, 1237 (10th Cir.
2001); Winfrey v. Chater, 17');">92 F.3d 1017 (10th Cir.
1996); Castellano v. Secretary of Health & Human
Servs., 26 F.3d 1027, 1028 (10th Cir. 1994). Substantial
evidence is more than a scintilla, less than a preponderance,
and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 1427, 28
L.Ed.2d 842 (1971) (quoting Consolidated Edison Co. v.
NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938)). The court may neither
reweigh the evidence nor substitute its judgment for that of
the Commissioner. Casias v. Secretary of Health &
Human Servs., 933 F.2d 799, 800 (10th Cir. 1991). Even
if the court would have reached a different conclusion, if
supported by substantial evidence, the Commissioner's
decision stands. Hamilton v. Secretary of Health &
Human Servs., 961 F.2d 1495 (10th Cir. 1992).
was 34 years old on the alleged date of onset of disability
and 37 on the date of the ALJ's decision. She has a high
school education and formerly worked as a general office
clerk, commercial cleaner, and production assembler. She
claims to have been unable to work since August 2, 2012, as a
result of fibromyalgia, clotting problems known as Factor V
Leiden deficiency, history of deep vein thrombosis,
degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine, history of
cerebral artery surgery and cervical spine arteriovenous
malformation surgery, hand and arm tingling, history of right
ankle sprain, depression, anxiety, and a panic disorder with
agoraphobia. In addition, beginning on May 1, 2014, Plaintiff
had inflammatory polyarthritis and osteoarthritis of the
hands and feet.
determined that beginning May 1, 2014, the severity of
Plaintiff's impairments met the criteria of Listing of
Impairments §§ 14.09(D)(1) and (D)(3), 20 C.F.R.
Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1, and was therefore disabled as of
that date. [Dkt. 29].
time period prior to May 1, 2014, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity (RFC) to
perform sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §
404.15');">1567(a), 416.967(a), except Plaintiff had to avoid
concentrated exposure to hazards, including no driving as a
part of work. She was capable of performing simple, routine,
repetitive tasks in an environment where interpersonal
contact with co-workers and supervisors was incidental to the
work performed and where there was no contact with the
general public. Supervision required was to be simple,
direct, and concrete. [R. 21].
Plaintiff was unable to perform her past relevant work, based
on the testimony of a vocational expert, the ALJ determined
that there are a significant number of jobs in the national
economy that Plaintiff could perform with these limitations.
Thus, for the period from August 2, 2012 to April 30, 2014,
the case was decided at step five of the five-step evaluative
sequence for determining whether a claimant is disabled.
See Williams v. Bowen, 844 F.2d 748, 750-52 (10th
Cir. 1988) (discussing five steps in detail).
asserts that the residual functional capacity
assessment for the period prior to May 1, 2014 is not
supported by substantial evidence.
asserts that the ALJ's RFC finding “fails to
include medically documented limitations that required two
(2) surgeries and objectively documented persistent headaches
and swelling, numbness, and tingling of the Claimant's
extremities.” [Dkt. 15');">15, p. 7]. The Commissioner's
brief points out that the ALJ accurately and thoroughly
outlined the medical record, thus demonstrating that the ALJ
considered the entire record. The Commissioner also points
out that in her opening brief Plaintiff selected a few pieces
of evidence from the record and argued that the evidence
supports “additional, unspecified RFC
limitations.” [Dkt. 17, p. 6]. In her reply brief
Plaintiff clarified that the focus of her appeal was on the
ALJ's treatment of her complaints of numbness and