United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
CARLA A. NIPPERT, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, COMMISSION OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
A. Nippert (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial review
of the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision
that she was not “disabled” under the Social
Security Act. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g),
423(d)(1)(A). Chief United States District Judge Timothy D.
DeGiusti has referred the matter to the undersigned
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.
careful review of the record (AR), the parties' briefs,
and the relevant authority, the undersigned recommends the
entry of judgment affirming the Commissioner's final
decision. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
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 h[er] 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 [s]he can
no longer engage in h[er] 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
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. AR 15-27; see 20
C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4); see also Wall v.
Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009) (describing
the five-step process). The ALJ found Plaintiff:
(1) had severe degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine;
(2) had no impairment or combination of impairments that met
or medically equaled the severity of one of the ...