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.

Connor v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma

March 13, 2018

DAVID RAY CONNOR, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, [1] Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          STEVEN P. SHREDER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The claimant David Ray Connor requests judicial review of a denial of benefits by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). He appeals the Commissioner's decision and asserts that the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) erred in determining he was not disabled. For the reasons discussed below, the Commissioner's decision is hereby 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[.]” Id. § 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.[2]

         Section 405(g) limits the scope of judicial review of the Commissioner's decision to two inquiries: whether the decision was supported by substantial evidence and whether correct legal standards were applied. See Hawkins v. Chater, 113 F.3d 1162, 1164 (10th Cir. 1997). Substantial evidence is “‘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); see also Clifton v. Chater, 79 F.3d 1007, 1009 (10th Cir. 1996). The Court may not reweigh the evidence or substitute its discretion for the Commissioner's. See Casias v. Secretary of Health & Human Services, 933 F.2d 799, 800 (10th Cir. 1991). But 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's Background

         The claimant was born on November 28, 1967, and was forty-six years old at the time of the administrative hearing (Tr. 33). He has a high school education, and has worked as a security guard (Tr. 35, 49). The claimant alleges that he has been unable to work since July 5, 2012, due to back problems, hypertension, and anxiety (Tr. 153).

         Procedural History

         On September 4, 2012, the claimant applied for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-434 (Tr. 133-34). His application was denied. ALJ Bernard Porter conducted an administrative hearing and determined that the claimant was not disabled in a written opinion dated October 2, 2014 (Tr. 13-24). The Appeals Council denied review, so the ALJ's opinion is the final decision of the Commissioner for purposes of this appeal. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.981.

         Decision of the Administrative Law Judge

          The ALJ made his decision at step five of the sequential evaluation. He found that the claimant had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a) with frequent balancing, stooping, and crouching; occasional using foot controls, kneeling, and climbing ramps and stairs; and never crawling or climbing ropes, ladders, or stairs (Tr. 17). The ALJ further found the claimant must not work around unprotected heights or moving mechanical parts, and should avoid exposure to environments where there are temperature extremes (Tr. 17).

         Additionally, the ALJ found the claimant required a sit/stand option allowing a change in position at least every thirty minutes, lasting no more than three to four minutes at a time (Tr. 17). Due to psychologically based factors, the ALJ found the claimant could perform simple tasks, make simple work-related decisions, and have no more than occasional interaction with supervisors, co-workers, and the public (Tr. 17). The ALJ also found that the claimant's time off task would be accommodated by normal breaks (Tr. 17). The ALJ then concluded that although the claimant could not return to his past relevant work, he was nevertheless not disabled because there was work that he could perform in the national economy, e. g., document preparer, touchup screener, and semiconductor bonder (Tr. 22-24).

         Review

          The claimant contends that the ALJ erred by failing to properly: (i) account for his moderate difficulty in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace, and (ii) assess his credibility. The Court finds 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.