United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
KIMBERLY E. WEST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Rebecca Bridges (“Plaintiff”), on behalf of the
minor child, R.M.B. (“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. Plaintiff 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
finding of this Court that the Commissioner's decision
should be and is AFFIRMED.
Security Law and Standard of Review
for persons under the age of 18 is defined by the Social
Security Act as the “a medically determinable physical
or mental impairment or combination of impairments that
causes marked and severe functional limitations, and that can
be expected to cause death or that has lasted or can be
expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12
months.” 20 C.F.R. § 416.906. Social Security
regulations implement a three-step sequential process to
evaluate a claim for Child's Supplemental Security Income
Benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
See, 20 C.F.R. § 416.924.
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 7 years old when the ALJ issued his decision. Claimant is
alleged to have become disabled due to attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”) and Ehlers Danlos
14, 2014, Claimant, through Plaintiff, protectively applied
for Supplemental Security Income under Title XVI of the
Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1381 et seq.).
Claimant's application for benefits was denied in its
entirety initially and on reconsideration. On May 6, 2016,
Plaintiff appeared at an administrative hearing before
Administrative Law Judge Ralph F. Shilling (the
“ALJ”). The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on
December 12, 2016. On November 17, 2017, the Appeals Council
denied review of the ALJ's findings. Thus, the decision
of the ALJ represents the Commissioner's final decision
for purposes of further appeal. 20 C.F.R. §§
of the Administrative Law Judge
made his decision at step three of the sequential evaluation.
He determined that Claimant's condition did not meet a
listing and she had not been under a disability during the
asserts the ALJ committed error in (1) improperly evaluating
and weighing the medical evidence; (2) evaluating consistency
under Soc. Sec. R. 16-3p; and (3) reaching a decision which
was not supported by substantial evidence.