United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
H. MCCARTHY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MONICA S., seeks judicial review of a decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration denying
Social Security disability benefits. In accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c)(1) & (3), the parties have consented to
proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge.
role of the court in reviewing the decision of the
Commissioner under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) is limited to a
determination of whether the decision is supported by
substantial evidence and whether the decision contains a
sufficient basis to determine that the Commissioner has
applied the correct legal standards. See Briggs ex rel.
Briggs v. Massanari, 1235');">248 F.3d 1235, 1237 (10th Cir.
2001); Winfrey v. Chater, 92 F.3d 1017 (10th Cir.
1996); Castellano v. Secretary of Health & Human
Servs., 26 F.3d 1027, 1028 (10th Cir. 1994). Substantial
evidence is more than a scintilla, less than a preponderance,
and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 1427, 28
L.Ed.2d 842 (1971) (quoting Consolidated Edison Co. v.
NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938)). The court may neither
reweigh the evidence nor substitute its judgment for that of
the Commissioner. Casias v. Secretary of Health &
Human Servs., 993 F.2d 799, 800 (10th Cir. 1991). Even
if the court would have reached a different conclusion, if
supported by substantial evidence, the Commissioner's
decision stands. Hamilton v. Secretary of Health &
Human Servs., 961 F.2d 1495 (10th Cir. 1992).
was 50 years old on the alleged date of onset of disability
and 51 years old on the date of the denial decision. She has
a high school education and some vocational college. Her past
work experience includes a church janitor and school bus
driver. [R. 24]. Plaintiff claims to have been unable to work
since January 19, 2015 due to severe right hip pain and some left
hip discomfort. [R. 42, 58, 184].
determined that Plaintiff has the following severe
impairments: history of hip pain and obesity. [R. 21]. The
ALJ determined that Plaintiff has the residual functional
capacity to perform the full range of light work in that she
can lift/carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds
frequently. Plaintiff can stand and/or walk at least 6 hours
and sit at least 6 hours in an 8-hour workday. [R. 23]. The
ALJ determined that Plaintiff was not disabled because at
step four, she retained the residual functional capacity to
perform her past relevant work. [R. 24]. At step five, the
ALJ found that there are a significant number of jobs in the
national economy that Plaintiff could perform with these
limitations. [R. 25]. The case was thus decided at step four
with an alternative step five finding of the five-step
evaluative sequence for determining whether a claimant is
disabled. See Williams v. Bowen, 844 F.2d 748,
750-52 (10th Cir. 1988) (discussing five steps in detail).
asserts the ALJ: 1) failed to properly consider medical
source opinions; and 2) failed to properly consider
Plaintiff's allegations. [Dkt. 11');">11, p. 3].
argues that the ALJ failed to properly consider the medical
source opinions, specifically, treating physicians, Martin T.
Cooper, M.D., and Mark James Maguire, M.D., and consultative
examiner, Dr. Theron J. Bliss, D.O. [Dkt. 11');">11, p. 4-5].
Plaintiff contends that the ALJ did not consider
“trochanteric bursitis” to be a severe
impairment. Plaintiff acknowledges that failing to find
trochanteric bursitis a severe impairment at step two is not,
in itself, error because at step two all the ALJ has to do is
find that a severe impairment exists, but argues it effects
how the ALJ evaluates the case and evidence. Further,
trochanteric bursitis was not mentioned anywhere in the
decision. [Dkt. 11');">11, p. 4-5].
January 19, 2015, Plaintiff was examined by Dr. Cooper for
complaints of hip pain. Plaintiff indicated that the severity
of pain was 10/10. Dr. Cooper found Plaintiff exhibited
tenderness, pain on movement, and decreased range of motion.
Plaintiff was diagnosed with bilateral hip pain, prescribed
medication, and instructed to return if symptoms worsen or
fail to improve. [R. 278-284]. On September 14,
2015, Dr. Cooper completed a Handicapped