Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Keffer v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

April 2, 2019

DUSTIN KEFFER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SHON T. ERWIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff 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 denying Plaintiff's application for benefits under the Social Security Act. The Commissioner has answered and filed a transcript of the administrative record (hereinafter TR.__). The parties have consented to jurisdiction over this matter by a United States magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

         The parties have briefed their positions, and the matter is now at issue. Based on the Court's review of the record and the issues presented, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's decision.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This case concerns a closed period of disability from November 5, 2015 through January 1, 2017-the alleged disability having occurred as a result of Plaintiff being involved, as a pedestrian, in a motor vehicle accident.

         Initially and on reconsideration, the Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff's application for benefits. Following an administrative hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an unfavorable decision. (TR. 10-21). The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. (TR. 1-3). Thus, the decision of the ALJ became the final decision of the Commissioner.

         II. THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION

         In determining whether Plaintiff was disabled during the period at issue, the ALJ followed the five-step sequential evaluation process required by agency regulations. See Fischer-Ross v. Barnhart, 431 F.3d 729, 731 (10th Cir. 2005); 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520. At step one, the ALJ determined that between November 5, 2015 and January 1, 2017, Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity. (TR. 12). At step two, the ALJ determined that between November 5, 2015 and January 1, 2017, Mr. Keffer had the following severe impairments: traumatic brain injury (TBI); cerebral trauma; right clavicle fracture; bilateral carotid artery pseudoaneurysms, status-post stenting for left carotid stenosis; status-post open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) to the right clavicle; left open tibia-fibula fracture; status-post subdural evacuating port-system (SEPS) (removed January 2016); and deep vein thrombosis. (TR. 12). At step three, the ALJ found that between November 5, 2015 and January 1, 2017, Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or medically equal any of the presumptively disabling impairments listed at 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (TR. 16).

         At step four, the ALJ found that:

beginning November 4, 2016 (i.e., eleven months and thirty days after the claimant's amended alleged onset date of disability of November 5, 2015), and ending January 1, 2017, the claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform the full range of light exertion work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1527(b).

         (TR. 17). The ALJ also “relie[d] on SSA policy and ma[de] no findings concerning the claimant's past relevant work.” (TR. 20).

         Because the ALJ concluded that Mr. Keffer could perform the full range of light work between November 4, 2016 and January 1, 2017, he proceeded to assess the issue of disability utilizing the Medical-Vocational Guidelines found at 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2 (“the Grids”). See Social Security Ruling 83-11, Titles II And XVI: Capability to Do Other Work--the Exertionally Based Medical-Vocational Rules Met, 1983 WL 31252 at (1983) (allowing application of the Grids when the claimant can perform all of the exertional demand at a given level of exertion, i.e.-a full range of “light” work).

         Ultimately, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff was not disabled, based on application of Rule 202.20. (TR. 20-21). The ALJ also made an alternative finding that even if Plaintiff had been limited to sedentary work between November 4, 2016 and January 1, 2017, he would still be found not disabled based on application of Grid Rule 201.27. (TR. 20).

         III. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.