United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Ray Handley (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial
review of the Defendant Commissioner of Social Security's
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). The parties have consented
under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) to proceed before a United
States Magistrate Judge. Docs. 12, 15.
careful review of the record (AR), the parties' briefs,
and the relevant authority, the undersigned reverses and
remands the Commissioner's final decision. See
42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
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.
Administrative Law Judge findings.
assigned to Plaintiff's case applied the standard
regulatory analysis in order to decide whether Plaintiff was
disabled during the relevant timeframe. AR 68-78;
see 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4); 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 degenerative disc disease,
status post right heel fracture, and anxiety;
(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 and can lift up to twenty pounds occasionally, has the
ability to stand or walk up to six hours, occasionally stoop,
crouch, kneel, frequently handle objects as gross
manipulation as well as frequently use his hands bilaterally
to finger small objects, can understand, remember and carry
out simple instructions only, and can maintain no more than
occasional interaction with the general public;
(4) could not perform any of his past relevant work;
(5) could perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in
the national economy, such as electrical accessory assembler,
inspector packer, ...