United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
CHARLES B. GOODWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Richard Street brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g) for judicial review of the final decision of
the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) denying Plaintiff's application for
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) under Title
II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§
401-434, and supplemental security income (“SSI”)
under Title XVI of the Act, id. §§
1381-1383f. The Court has reviewed the administrative record
(Doc. No. 11, hereinafter “R. ”),  and the arguments
and authorities submitted by the parties. The
Commissioner's decision is affirmed. A separate judgment
will be entered.
PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION
protectively filed his SSI application on December 22, 2014,
and his application for DIB on December 30, 2014, alleging
disability beginning January 1, 2012. R. 36, 267-74. The SSA
denied his applications initially and on reconsideration. R.
126 79. At Plaintiff's request, an administrative law
judge (“ALJ”) held hearings on August 23, 2016,
and December 15, 2016, R. 54-96, 99-112, after which the ALJ
issued an unfavorable decision on March 17, 2017. R. 33-35.
The SSA Appeals Council found no reason to review the
ALJ's decision. R. 1-6. The ALJ's unfavorable
decision stands as the Commissioner's final decision.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 416.1481.
followed the five-step sequential evaluation process in
determing Plaintiff was not entitled to disability benefits.
See Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir.
2009); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920. At step one,
the ALJ found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since his alleged disability-onset date. R.
38. At step two, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff has severe
impairments of learning disability, antisocial personality
disorder, and anxiety disorder. R. 38.
three, the ALJ found that Plaintiff does not have an
impairment or combination of impairments that meets or
medically equals the severity of any of the presumptively
disabling impairments listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart
P, Appendix 1 (the “Listings”). R. 39-41.
next assessed Plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) during the relevant period, based on all
of his medically determinable impairments:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform a full range of work at all
exertional levels but with the following nonexertional
limitations: The claimant can understand, remember and carry
out simple tasks; can make judgment on simple work related
decisions; can interact with supervisors and co-workers where
contact is incidental and occasional to work performed, but
is limited to no contact with the general public; can adapt
to a work environment that does not involve frequent changes
in daily routines or work duties.
on the hearing testimony of the vocational expert
(“VE”), the ALJ determined at step four that
Plaintiff can perform his past relevant work as a roustabout.
R. 46. The ALJ also proceeded to make an alternative
step-five determination, finding based on the VE's
testimony that Plaintiff could perform other jobs existing in
significant numbers in the national economy including
hospital cleaner, auto detailer, and lot porter. R. 47.
the ALJ determined Plaintiff is not disabled within the
meaning of the Social Security Act. R. 47; see 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4); 416.920(a)(4).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court's judicial review of the Commissioner's final
decision is limited to determining whether factual findings
are supported by substantial evidence in the record as a
whole and whether correct legal standards were applied.
Poppa v. Astrue, 569 F.3d 1167, 1169 (10th Cir.
2009). “Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence
as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Doyal v. Barnhart, 331 F.3d 758,
760 (10th Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks omitted).
“A decision is not based on substantial evidence if it
is overwhelmed by other evidence in the record or if there is
a mere scintilla of evidence supporting it.” Branum
v. Barnhart, 385 F.3d 1268, 1270 (10th Cir. 2004)
(internal quotation marks omitted). The court
“meticulously examine[s] the record as a whole, ”
including any evidence “that may undercut or detract
from the ALJ's findings, ” in determining whether
the ALJ's decision is supported by substantial evidence.
Wall, 561 F.3d at 1052 (internal quotation marks
omitted). Though a reviewing court considers whether the
Commissioner followed applicable rules of law in weighing
particular types of evidence in disability cases, the court
does not reweigh the evidence or substitute its own judgment
for that of the Commissioner. Bowman v. Astrue, 511
F.3d 1270, 1272 (10th Cir. 2008).
Plaintiff's Assignments of Error
difficult to parse,  Plaintiff first contends the ALJ erred in
failing “to include functionally distinct limitations
in the RFC that were specific to his ability to interact with
others” and that this failure “corrupted”
the ALJ's finding that Plaintiff could perform his past
relevant work. Pl.'s Br. (Doc. No. ...