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.

Bradford v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

April 22, 2019

NICHOLETTE BRADFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Gary M. Purcell, Judge

         Plaintiff seeks judicial review pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of the final decision of Defendant Commissioner denying her application for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1382. The Commissioner has answered the Complaint and filed the administrative record (hereinafter AR__), and the parties have briefed the issues. The matter has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for initial proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B). For the following reasons, it is recommended the Commissioner's decision be affirmed.

         I. Administrative History and Final Agency Decision

         Plaintiff applied for disability insurance benefits on February 26, 2016. AR 156-59. In her application, Plaintiff alleged she became disabled on September 13, 2014, due to conditions affecting bipolar disorder and fibromyalgia. AR 182, 186.

         The Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff's application on May 23, 2016, see AR 52, 53-66, and on reconsideration on August 30, 2016. AR 67, 68-83.

         Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified at an administrative hearing conducted on June 14, 2017, before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). AR 29-48. A vocational expert (“VE”) testified at the hearing. AR 44-47. The ALJ issued a decision in which she found Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. AR 10-24. Following the agency's well-established sequential evaluation procedure, the ALJ found at the first step that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 8, 2015. AR 15. At the second step, the ALJ found Plaintiff had severe impairments of obesity, fibromyalgia, affective disorder (bipolar), and anxiety disorder. Id. At the third step, the ALJ found these impairments were not per se disabling as Plaintiff did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the requirements of a listed impairment. AR 16.

         At step four, the ALJ found Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform light work except Plaintiff can only frequently climb ramps and stairs, stoop, kneel, and crouch. AR 19. Additionally, Plaintiff can only occasionally crawl, or climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. Id. Finally, Plaintiff's work must be limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks, and only require occasional interaction with co-workers, supervisors, and the public, and be free of production rate pace. Id.

         Relying on the VE's testimony as to the ability of a hypothetical individual with Plaintiff's work history, age, education, and the determined RFC, the ALJ concluded Plaintiff could not perform any past relevant work. AR 22. However, the ALJ also found, based on the VE's testimony, that Plaintiff could perform the jobs of collator, final inspector, and shirt presser, each of which exist in significant numbers within the national economy. AR 22-23. Based on this finding, the ALJ concluded Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Social Security Act, from January 8, 2015 through the date of the decision. AR 23.

         The Appeal's Council denied Plaintiff's request for review, and therefore the ALJ's decision is the final decision of the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.981; Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1051 (10th Cir. 2009).

         II. Issue Raised

         Plaintiff argues the ALJ erred, after giving great weight to the opinion of the state agency physicians, by failing to adopt specific limitations related to Plaintiff's ability to interact with the general public that were included in their opinions.

         Plaintiff's Opening Brief (Doc. No. 15) at 3-7.

         III. General Legal Standards Guiding Judicial Review

         The Court must determine whether the Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial evidence in the record and whether the correct legal standards were applied. Wilson v. Astrue, 602 F.3d 1136, 1140 (10th Cir. 2010); Doyal v. Barnhart, 331 F.3d 758, 760 (10th Cir. 2003). “Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. It requires more than a scintilla, but less than a preponderance.” Lax v. Astrue, 489 F.3d 1080, 1084 (10th Cir. 2007) (citations and quotations omitted). The ‚Äúdetermination of whether the ALJ's ruling is supported by substantial evidence must be based upon the record taken as a whole. Consequently, [the ...


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.