United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SUZANNE MITCHELL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Froehlich (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial review
of the Defendant Commissioner of Social Security's
(Commissioner) final decision he was not
“disabled” under the terms of the Social Security
Act. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g),
423(d)(1)(A). United States District Judge Vicki
Miles-LaGrange referred this matter to the undersigned
Magistrate Judge for proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B), (b)(3) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Doc. 15.
Following a careful review of the parties' briefs, the
administrative record (AR),  and the relevant authority, the
undersigned recommends the court affirm the
Social Security Act defines “disability” as the
“inability to engage in any substantial gainful
activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or
mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or
which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous
period of not less than 12 months . . . .” 42 U.S.C.
§ 423(d)(1)(A). “This twelve-month duration
requirement applies to the claimant's inability to engage
in any substantial gainful activity, and not just his
underlying impairment.” Lax v. Astrue, 489
F.3d 1080, 1084 (10th Cir. 2007) (citing Barnhart v.
Walton, 535 U.S. 212, 218-19 (2002)).
Burden of proof.
“bears the burden of establishing a disability”
and of “ma[king] a prima facie showing that he can no
longer engage in his prior work activity . . . .”
Turner v. Heckler, 754 F.2d 326, 328 (10th Cir.
1985). If Plaintiff makes that prima facie showing, the
burden of proof then shifts to the Commissioner to show
Plaintiff retains the capacity to perform a different type of
work and that such a specific type of job exists in the
national economy. Id.
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) findings.
assigned to Plaintiff's case applied the standard
regulatory analysis in order to decide whether Plaintiff was
disabled during the relevant timeframe. AR 30-52;
see 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a); see also Wall
v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009)
(describing the five-step process). Specifically, the ALJ
(1) had the severe impairments of osteoarthritis of the
spine, knees, and left ankle; obesity; asthma; post traumatic
stress disorder; generalized anxiety disorder; and depressive
(2) had no impairment or combination of impairments that met
or medically equaled the severity of a listed impairment;
(3) had the residual functional capacity to perform light
work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b) except [Plaintiff] could
occasionally lift/carry 20 pounds and frequently lift/carry
10 pounds; stand/walk 6 hours in an 8 hour work day; sit 6
hours in an 8 hour work day; occasionally push/pull including
the operation of hand and foot controls; could frequently
balance; occasionally stoop, kneel, and crouch but never
crawl; no manipulative, visual, communicative, or
environmental limitations; Plaintiff could understand,
remember, comprehend, and carry out simple work-related tasks
and instructions; could work with supervisors and co-workers
on a superficial working basis; could not work with the
general public; and could adapt to routine changes in the
(4) did not have any past relevant work;
(5) could perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in
the national economy, such as small parts assembler, motel
cleaner, and price marker; and, so,
(6) was not disabled.
Appeals Council findings.
Social Security Administration's Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review on September 5, 2017, so
the ALJ's unfavorable decision is the Commissioner's
final decision in this case. AR ...