United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SUZANNE MITCHELL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Andrew Stevens (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial
review of the Defendant Commissioner of Social Security's
final decision he was not “disabled” under the
terms of the Social Security Act. See 42 U.S.C.
§§ 405(g), 423(d)(1)(A). The parties have consented
under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) to proceed before a United
States Magistrate Judge. Docs. 6, 12. Following a careful review
of the parties' briefs, the administrative record (AR),
and the relevant authority, the court affirms the
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 he can no
longer engage in his 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
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) findings.
assigned to Plaintiff's case applied the standard
regulatory analysis to decide whether Plaintiff was disabled
during the relevant timeframe. See AR 15-33; 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 his
alleged onset date of January 7, 2015;
(2) had the severe impairments of obesity, degenerative disc
disease, degenerative joint disease, status post thoracic
spine fusion, status post knee surgery, hypertension, and
major depressive disorder;
(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
sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a)
except he can never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds, he can
occasionally climb ramps and stairs, balance, stoop, kneel,
crouch and crawl, he can frequently reach with the right
upper extremity, he can use a cane for ambulation, ...