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.

Baker v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

February 28, 2018

AMY D. BAKER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          BERNARD M. JONES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Amy D. Baker, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial review of the Social Security Administration's final decision finding she was not disabled under the Social Security Act. 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. 9], and both parties have briefed their respective positions.[1]For the reasons set forth below, the Court affirms the Commissioner's decision.

         I. Procedural Background

         On January 29, 2014, Plaintiff protectively filed an application for disability insurance benefits (DIB). See AR 9. The Social Security Administration (SSA) denied the application initially and on reconsideration. AR 67, 78. Following a hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an unfavorable decision dated October 29, 2015. AR 6-22. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. AR 1-3. Thus, the decision of the ALJ became the final decision of the Commissioner. Plaintiff seeks judicial review of this final agency decision.

         II. The ALJ's Decision

         The ALJ followed the sequential evaluation process required by agency regulations. See Fischer-Ross v. Barnhart, 431 F.3d 729, 731 (10th Cir. 2005) (explaining five-step sequential evaluation process); see also 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520. The ALJ first determined Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since March 15, 2013, the alleged onset date. AR 11.

         At step two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff suffered from the severe impairments of obesity, degenerative joint disease, degenerative disc disease, s/p total left knee arthroplasty, s/p bursectomy and IT band release with repeat surgery. AR 11-13.[2] At step three, the ALJ found Plaintiff's impairments do not meet or medically equal any of the impairments listed at 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. AR 13-14.

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

[Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) restricted as follows: no climbing of ladders, ropes, scaffolds; only occasionally perform postural activity such as climbing ramps or stairs, stooping, balancing, crouching, kneeling or crawling; and would require an hourly sit/stand option.

AR 14-17. Relying on the testimony of a vocational expert (VE), the ALJ determined Plaintiff was able to perform past relevant work as a legal secretary, administrative assistant, and legal assistant/secretary. AR 17. The ALJ concluded, therefore, that Plaintiff was not disabled for purposes of the Social Security Act. AR 17.

         III. Issues Presented for Judicial Review

         Plaintiff contends the ALJ erred at step four by not addressing all of her diagnosed impairments, by not implementing certain limitations into the RFC, and by failing to address the opinions of her treating physician. The Court finds that none of Plaintiff's arguments have merit and affirms the ALJ's decision.

         IV. Standard of Review

         Judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision is limited to determining whether the factual findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole and whether the correct legal standards were applied. See Poppa v. Astrue, 569 F.3d 1167, 1169 (10th Cir. 2009). “Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Doyal v. Barnhart, 331 F.3d 758, 760 (10th Cir. 2003) (quotation omitted). A decision is not based on substantial evidence if it is overwhelmed by other evidence in the record or if there is a mere scintilla of evidence supporting it. Branum v. Barnhart, 385 F.3d 1268, 1270 (10th Cir. 2004). The court “meticulously examine[s] the record as a whole, including anything that may undercut or detract from the ALJ's findings in order to determine if the substantiality test has been met.” Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted). While the court considers whether the ALJ followed the ...


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.