United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
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 supplemental security income and disability
insurance benefits 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. 18-31). The Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (TR. 1-3).
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 her amended onset date of July 12, 2012. (TR. 20). At
step two, the ALJ determined Ms. Moore-Radcliff had the
following severe impairments: asthma; obesity; fibromyalgia;
and systemic lupus erythematosus. (TR. 20). 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. 22).
four, the ALJ concluded that Ms. Moore-Radcliff retained the
residual functional capacity (RFC) to:
[P]erform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) and
416.967(a) except the claimant is able to lift, carry, push,
and/or pull 10 pounds occasionally and less than 10 pounds
frequently; sit for 6 hours of an 8 hour workday; stand and
walk for 2 hours of an 8 hour workday; can never climb
ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; and should work in a climate
controlled environment with no concentrated exposure to
fumes, odors, dusts, and gases.
23-24). With this RFC, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff was
able to perform her past relevant work as a bookkeeper and a
secretary. (TR. 28). Even though the ALJ concluded that
Plaintiff could perform her past relevant work, she 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. (TR. 62-63). Given the limitations,
the VE identified three jobs from the Dictionary of
Occupational Titles. (TR. 64-65). The ALJ adopted the
testimony of the VE and concluded that in the alternative, at
step five, Ms. Moore-Radcliff was not disabled based on her
ability to perform the identified jobs. (TR. 30).
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. Colvin, 805 F.3d 1199, 1201
(10th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).
appeal, Plaintiff alleges that the RFC lacked substantial
evidence because the ALJ: (1) improperly relied on opinions
from two State Agency physicians, (2) improperly discounted
opinions from Plaintiff's treating physician, and (3)
ignored probative evidence.
The Medical Evidence
medical record in this case consists of evidence from: (1)
non-examining State Agency reviewing physicians, (2) a
one-time consultative examination from Dr. John Saidi, and
(3) progress notes and Medical Source ...