United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
T. ERWIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for
judicial review of the final decision of the Commissioner of
the Social Security Administration denying Plaintiff's
applications for disability insurance benefits and
supplemental security income under the Social Security Act.
The Commissioner has answered and filed a transcript of the
administrative record (hereinafter TR. ___). The parties have
consented to jurisdiction over this matter by a United States
Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
parties have briefed their positions, and the matter is now
at issue. Based on the Court's review of the record and
the issues presented, the Court AFFIRMS the
and on reconsideration, the Social Security Administration
denied Plaintiff's applications for benefits. Following
an administrative hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
issued a partially favorable decision. (TR. 20-36). The
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review.
(TR. 1-6). Thus, the decision of the ALJ became the final
decision of the Commissioner.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION
followed the five-step sequential evaluation process required
by agency regulations. See Fischer-Ross v. Barnhart,
431 F.3d 729, 731 (10th Cir. 2005); 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520 & 416.920. At step one, the ALJ determined that
Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity
since her amended onset date of May 21, 2010. (TR. 26). At
step two, the ALJ determined that Ms. Manley had the
following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease of
the back; obesity; multiple sclerosis; and depressive
disorder. (TR. 27). At step three, the ALJ found that
Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or medically equal
any of the presumptively disabling impairments listed at 20
C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (TR. 27). At step
four, the ALJ concluded that Ms. Manley retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to:
[P]erform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a) and
416.967(a) except no climbing ladders, ropes, or scaffolds;
simple tasks with routine supervision; no public contact; no
customer service work; able to interact with supervisors and
co-workers on a superficial work basis; able to adapt to work
(TR. 29). With this RFC, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff was
unable to perform any past relevant work. (TR. 34). As a
result, the ALJ made additional findings at step five. There,
the ALJ presented several limitations to a vocational expert
(VE) to determine whether there were other jobs in the
national economy that Plaintiff could perform given her RFC.
(TR. 35, 67-70). Given the limitations, the VE identified
three jobs from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT)
that Plaintiff could perform. (TR. 35, 64-70). The ALJ
adopted the testimony of the VE and concluded that Plaintiff
was not disabled between her amended onset date of May 21,
2010 and August 6, 2013. (TR. 35-36). However, the ALJ then
found that as of August 6, 2013, the date that Plaintiff
turned 50, Plaintiff was disabled via direct application of
Medical-Vocational Rule 201.14. (TR. 36).
appeal, Plaintiff alleges that the ALJ and the Appeals
Council (AC) failed to adequately evaluate post-hearing
evidence submitted by Plaintiff's treating physician.
Plaintiff further argues that the ALJ erred in her
consideration of Plaintiff's visual limitations and
“cherry-picked” the evidence concerning
Plaintiff's pain complaints.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court reviews the Commissioner's final “decision to
determin[e] whether the factual findings are supported by
substantial evidence in the record and whether the correct
legal standards were applied.” Wilson v.
Astrue, 602 F.3d 1136, 1140 (10th Cir. 2010).
“Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Id. (quotation omitted).
the court considers whether the ALJ followed the applicable
rules of law in weighing particular types of evidence in
disability cases, the court will “neither reweigh the
evidence nor substitute [its] judgment for that of the
agency.” Vigil v. ...