United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
JACOB S. HALENCAK, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.
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 REVERSES AND
REMANDS the Commissioner's decision.
and on reconsideration, the Social Security Administration
denied Plaintiff's applications for benefits. Following
an administrative hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
issued an unfavorable decision. (TR. 13-21). The Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (TR. 1-5).
Thus, the decision of the ALJ became the final decision of
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 April 3, 2014, the alleged disability onset date. (TR.
15). At step two, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had the
following severe impairments: minor degenerative changes in
the right knee and arthritis in the left great toe. (TR. 16).
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. 17).
four, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to perform light work, specifying
[Plaintiff] can lift/carry or push/pull 20 pounds
occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. In an 8-hour workday,
he is able to stand/walk for 6 hours or sit for 6 hours, all
with normal breaks.
(TR. 17). With this RFC, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was
capable of performing his past relevant work as a fast food
worker, security guard, and cashier II. (TR. 20).
then proceeded to make made additional, alternative findings
at step five. The ALJ consulted with a vocational expert (VE)
to determine whether there were other jobs in the national
economy that Plaintiff could perform. Given the limitations
presented by the ALJ, the VE identified three jobs from the
Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT): electronic
assembler, small product assembler, and housekeeper. (TR.
20-21). Relying upon the testimony of the VE, the ALJ
concluded that Plaintiff was not disabled based on his
ability to perform the identified jobs. (TR. 21).
appeal, Plaintiff alleges the ALJ erred in (1) failing to
properly consider, evaluate, and weigh the medical evidence;
(2) relying on jobs at steps 4 and 5 that conflict with the
DOT; and (3) failing to properly evaluate and consider
Plaintiff's credibility and consistency. (ECF No.
14:4-10, 10-12, 12-15). The Court finds that the ALJ, without
adequate discussion, failed to include in the RFC certain
limitations that are supported by the record and remand is
warranted. Because Plaintiff's other assertions of error
may be affected by the ALJ's treatment of the case on
remand, the Court does not reach those arguments.