United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
JAMES R. SATTERFIELD, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KIMBERLY E. WEST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
James R. Satterfield (the “Claimant”) requests
judicial review of the decision of the Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration (the
“Commissioner”) denying Claimant's
application for disability benefits under the Social Security
Act. Claimant appeals the decision of the Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) and asserts that the Commissioner
erred because the ALJ incorrectly determined that Claimant
was not disabled. For the reasons discussed below, it is the
recommendation of the undersigned that the Commissioner's
decision be REVERSED and the case REMANDED for further
Security Law and Standard of Review
under the Social Security Act is defined as the
“inability to engage in any substantial gainful
activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or
mental impairment. . .” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A).
A claimant is disabled under the Social Security Act
“only if his physical or mental impairment or
impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable
to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age,
education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of
substantial gainful work which exists in the national
economy. . .” 42 U.S.C. §423(d)(2)(A). Social
Security regulations implement a five-step sequential process
to evaluate a disability claim. See, 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520, 416.920.
review of the Commissioner's determination is limited in
scope by 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). This Court's review is
limited to two inquiries: first, whether the decision was
supported by substantial evidence; and, second, whether the
correct legal standards were applied. Hawkins v.
Chater, 113 F.3d 1162, 1164 (10th Cir. 1997)(citation
omitted). The term “substantial evidence” has
been interpreted by the United States Supreme Court to
require “more than a mere scintilla. It means such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971) (quoting
Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229
(1938)). The court may not re-weigh the evidence nor
substitute its discretion for that of the agency. Casias
v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 933 F.2d 799,
800 (10th Cir. 1991). Nevertheless, the court must review the
record as a whole, and the “substantiality of the
evidence must take into account whatever in the record fairly
detracts from its weight.” Universal Camera Corp.
v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 488 (1951); see also,
Casias, 933 F.2d at 800-01.
was 50 years old at the time of the ALJ's latest
decision. Claimant completed his high school education.
Claimant has worked in the past as a repairman and assembly
line worker. Claimant alleges an inability to work beginning
December 10, 2010 due to limitations resulting from
scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, anxiety disorder,
depression, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and a hand
13, 2011, Claimant protectively filed for disability
insurance benefits under Title II (42 U.S.C. § 401,
et seq.) and supplemental security income pursuant
to Title XVI (42 U.S.C. §1381, et seq.) of the
Social Security Act. Claimant's applications were denied
initially and upon reconsideration. On January 23, 2013,
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Bernard Porter
conducted an administrative hearing in Poteau, Oklahoma. On
March 15, 2013, the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision. On
May 2, 2014, the Appeals Council denied review. The ALJ's
decision, however, was reversed and the case was remanded to
the Commissioner for further proceedings by Order of this
Court on September 29, 2015.
remand, ALJ Christopher Hunt conducted a further
administrative hearing on June 1, 2017. He entered another
unfavorable decision on August 21, 2017. Claimant appealed
the ALJ's decision directly. 20 C.F.R. §§
of the Administrative Law Judge
made his decision at step four of the sequential evaluation.
He determined that while Claimant suffered from severe
impairments, he retained the residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to perform his past relevant work. He
also determined Claimant could perform light work.
Alleged for Review
asserts the ALJ committed error in (1) failing to properly
assess his credibility as to pain; (2) failing to properly
evaluate the opinion of Dr. Theresa Horton; and (3) ...