Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Primeaux v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma

February 28, 2018

MARTENUS PRIMEAUX, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KIMBERLY E. WEST, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Martenus Primeaux (“Claimant”) requests judicial review of the decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (the “Commissioner”) denying Claimant's applications for disability benefits under the Social Security Act. Claimant appeals the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) and asserts that the Commissioner erred because the ALJ incorrectly determined that Claimant was not disabled. For the reasons discussed below, it is the recommendation of the undersigned that the Commissioner's decision be AFFIRMED.

         Social Security Law and Standard of Review

         Disability 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 his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his 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.[1]

         Judicial 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: first, whether the decision was supported by substantial evidence; and, second, whether the correct legal standards were applied. Hawkins v. Chater, 113 F.3d 1162, 1164 (10th Cir. 1997)(citation omitted). The term “substantial evidence” has been interpreted by the United States Supreme Court to require “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)). The court may not re-weigh the evidence nor substitute its discretion for that of the agency. Casias v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 933 F.2d 799, 800 (10th Cir. 1991). Nevertheless, the court must review the record as a whole, and the “substantiality of the 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's Background

         Claimant was 52 years old at the time of the ALJ's decision. Claimant completed his high school education. Claimant has worked in the past as an road striper and tank truck driver. Claimant alleges an inability to work beginning December 19, 2011 due to limitations caused by bladder control problems, headaches, pain in the neck, shoulder, and lower back, shoulder problems, and knee problems.

         Procedural History

         On February 4, 2013, Claimant protectively filed for disability insurance benefits under Title II (42 U.S.C. § 401, et seq.) and for supplemental security income pursuant to Title XVI (42 U.S.C. § 1381, et seq.) of the Social Security Act. Claimant's applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. On April 7, 2015, a hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) John Belcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. By decision dated September 18, 2015, the ALJ found that Claimant was not disabled during the relevant period and denied Claimant's request for benefits. On December 30, 2016, the Appeals Council denied review of the ALJ's decision. Thus, the decision of the ALJ represents the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of further appeal. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 416.1481.

         Decision of the Administrative Law Judge

         The ALJ made his decision at step five of the sequential evaluation. He determined that while Claimant suffered from severe impairments, he did not meet a listing and retained the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform sedentary work.

         Errors Alleged for Review

         Claimant asserts the ALJ committed error in (1) reaching an RFC which was not supported by the evidence; and (2) making step five findings based upon hypothetical questioning to the vocational expert which did not include all of Claimant's limitations.

         RFC ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.