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Sly v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

April 25, 2018

KRISTI LYNN SLY, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          BERNARD M. JONES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Kristi Lynn Sly, seeks judicial review of the Social Security Administration's denial of her application for supplemental security income (SSI). 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. 13], and both parties have briefed their positions.[1] For the reasons set forth below, the Court affirms the Commissioner's decision.

         I. Procedural Background

         On May 19, 2016, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an unfavorable decision finding Plaintiff is not disabled and, therefore, not entitled to SSI. AR 22-37. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. Id. at 1-5. Accordingly, the ALJ's decision constitutes the Commissioner's final decision. See Krauser v. Astrue, 638 F.3d 1324, 1327 (10th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff timely commenced this action for judicial review.

         II. The ALJ's Decision

         The ALJ followed the five-step sequential evaluation process required by agency regulations. See Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1051 (10th Cir. 2009) (explaining process); see also 20 C.F.R. § 416.920. The ALJ first determined Plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since September 4, 2014, her application date. AR 24.

         At step two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff suffers from the following severe impairments: obesity, degenerative disc disease, history of sinus tachycardia, hypertension, degenerative joint disease of the knees, and depression. Id. Then, 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, App. 1. Id. at 25.

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

[can] occasionally lift and/or carry 10 pounds, frequently lift and/or carry up to 10 pounds, stand and/or walk at least 2 hours in an 8-hour workday, sit for at least 6 hours in an 8-hour workday[], and is limited to simple, repetitive tasks, can relate to supervisors and coworkers only superficially, and should not be asked to work with the public.

Id. at 26.

         At step four, the ALJ determined Plaintiff has no past relevant work, id. at 35, and at step five, relying on a vocational expert's (VE) testimony, the ALJ found Plaintiff can perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. Id. at 36. Therefore, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff is not disabled for purposes of the Social Security Act. Id. at 37.

         III. Claims Presented for Judicial Review

         Plaintiff alleges the ALJ erred in: (1) finding she can perform work existing in significant numbers in the national economy, and (2) assessing her credibility. See Pl.'s Br. at 3-10.

         IV. Stand ...


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