United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Robben (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial review of
the Defendant Acting Commissioner of Social Security's
final decision she was not “disabled” under the
terms of the Social Security Act. See 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g), 423(d)(1)(A). The matter has been
referred 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. 13. Following a careful review of the
parties' briefs, the administrative record (AR) and the
relevant authority, the undersigned recommends the court
reverse and remand the Commissioner's decision for
further administrative development.
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's findings.
assigned to Plaintiff's case applied the standard
regulatory analysis to decide whether Plaintiff was disabled
during the relevant timeframe. AR 13-28; 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 found
(1) had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since her
alleged onset date of December 5, 2013;
(2) had the severe impairments of obesity, degenerative disc
disease of the lumbar spine, reactive airway disease,
borderline intellectual functioning, and major depressive
(3) had no impairment or combination of impairments that met
or medically equaled the severity of a listed impairment;
(4) had the residual functional capacity to perform less
than the full range of sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR
404.1567(a). Plaintiff is limited to lifting or carrying no
more than 10 pounds occasionally and less than 10 pounds
frequently. Plaintiff can sit for six hours in an eight-hour
day. Plaintiff can stand or walk for two hours in an
eight-hour day. Plaintiff would need a sit/stand option, but
she would be able to remain on task and attentive to duties
at all times. Plaintiff cannot climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds, and she is limited to only occasional climbing of
ramps and stairs, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. Work would
need to be simple, repetitive, and routine with occasional
contact with coworkers and supervisors and cursory,
superficial contact with the general public. Normal level of
exposure to gases, fumes, noxious ...