United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
P. SHREDER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
claimant Tanya Parker-Ramey requests judicial review pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of the decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying
her application for benefits under the Social Security Act.
She appeals the decision of the Commissioner and asserts that
the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) erred in
determining she was not disabled. For the reasons discussed
below, the Commissioner's decision should be AFFIRMED.
Security Law and Standard of Review
under the Social Security Act is defined as the
“inability to engage in any substantial gainful
activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or
mental impairment[.]” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). A
claimant is disabled under the Social Security Act
“only if h[er] physical or mental impairment or
impairments are of such severity that [s]he is not only
unable to do h[er] previous work but cannot, considering
h[er] age, education, and work experience, engage in any
other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the
national economy[.]” 42 U.S.C. § 423 (d)(2)(A).
Social security regulations implement a five-step sequential
process to evaluate a disability claim. See 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920.
review of the Commissioner's determination is limited in
scope by 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). This Court's review is
limited to two inquiries: (1) whether the decision was
supported by substantial evidence, and (2) whether the
correct legal standards were applied. See Hawkins v.
Chater, 113 F.3d 1162, 1164 (10th Cir. 1997) [citation
omitted]. The term “substantial evidence”
requires “‘more than a mere scintilla. It means
such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.'” Richardson
v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971), quoting
Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229
(1938). However, the Court may not reweigh the evidence nor
substitute its discretion for that of the agency. See
Casias v. Secretary of Health & Human Services, 933
F.2d 799, 800 (10th Cir. 1991). Nevertheless, the Court must
review the record as a whole, and “[t]he substantiality
of evidence must take into account whatever in the record
fairly detracts from its weight.” Universal Camera
Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 488 (1951); see also
Casias, 933 F.2d at 800-01.
claimant was born on August 28, 1973, and was forty-one years
old at the time of the administrative hearing (Tr. 72). She
completed high school and two years of college, and has
worked as an office clerk, teacher in child development,
sales clerk, cashier checker, inventory clerk, kitchen
helper, social services aide, and certified nursing assistant
(Tr. 61, 230). The claimant alleges she has been unable to
work since April 1, 2013, due to increased seizure
activity/epilepsy, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder,
insomnia, stomach ulcer, high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, migraines, and extreme pain (Tr. 229).
April 30, 2013, the claimant applied for disability insurance
benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 401-434, and for supplemental security income
benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42
U.S.C. §§ 1381-85. Her applications were denied.
ALJ Joseph Liken conducted an administrative hearing and
determined that the claimant was not disabled in a written
decision dated October 28, 2015 (Tr. 52-63). The Appeals
Council denied review, so the ALJ's decision represents
the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of this
appeal. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.981,
of the Administrative Law Judge
made his decision at step five of the sequential evaluation.
He found that the claimant had the residual functional
capacity (“RFC”) to perform a wide range of
sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1567(a) and 416.967(a), i. e., she could
lift/carry ten pounds occasionally and less than ten pounds
frequently, stand/walk two hours in an eight-hour workday,
sit six hours in an eight-hour workday. Additionally, he
found she was limited to occasionally climbing ramps/stairs,
balancing, stooping, bending, squatting, kneeling, crawling,
and crouching, and that she should avoid climbing
ladders/ropes/scaffolds, exposure to hazards such as
unprotected heights, fast moving machinery, sharp objects,
and open flames, as well as extreme heat or concentrated
exposure to vibration. Finally, he found that she should not
be required to handle complex instructions (Tr. 58). The ALJ
thus concluded that although the claimant could not return to
her past relevant work, she was nevertheless not disabled
because there was work she could perform, e. g.,
charge account clerk, dowel inspector, and cutter and paster
claimant contends that the ALJ erred by: (i) failing to
identify jobs at step five that were consistent with the
assigned RFC, (ii) failing to properly consider her mental
impairments in formulating her RFC, and (iii) finding she
could work a limited range of sedentary jobs. The undersigned
Magistrate Judge finds these contentions unpersuasive for the
determined that the claimant had the severe impairments of
seizure disorder, diabetes, gastric esophageal reflux disease
(GERD), coronary artery disease, obesity, and depression (Tr.
54). The medical evidence as to the claimant's mental
impairments reflects that she was diagnosed with an
adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood
back in 2011 (Tr. 308). Additionally, she was treated at the
Durant Health Clinic for depression and prescribed
medications (Tr. 497). ...