United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Kelley (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial review of
the Defendant 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). United States District
Judge Charles B. Goodwin has referred the matter to the
undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for proceedings
consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (b)(3) and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Doc. 15. Following a careful review of the
parties' briefs, the administrative record, and the
relevant authority, the undersigned recommends the court
affirm the Commissioner's decision.
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 [she] can
no longer engage in [her] 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 that
Plaintiff retains the capacity to perform a different type of
work and that such a specific type of job exists in the
national economy. Id.
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. See AR 16-26; see
also 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4); 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 July 11, 2011 through her date last
insured of March 31, 2017;
(2) had the severe impairments of first, degenerative disc
disease of the lumbar spine; second, status post posterior
lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF); third, degenerative disc
disease of the cervical spine; fourth, major depressive
disorder; and; fifth, anxiety;
(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 light
work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b), with various
(5) could perform jobs that exit in significant numbers in
the national economy, such as housekeeping cleaner,
merchandise marker, and routing clerk; and so,
(6) was not disabled.
Appeals Council findings.
SSA's Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review, so the ALJ's unfavorable decision is the
Commissioner's final decision in this case. Id.
at 1-5; see Krauser v. Astrue, 638 F.3d 1324, 1327
(10th Cir. 2011).
Judicial review of the ...