United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
STEPHEN W. LONG, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Long (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial review of
the Commissioner of Social Security's final decision that
he was not “disabled” under 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. 14, 18. After a careful review of the record (AR),
the parties' briefs, and the relevant authority, the
court affirms 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 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 Plaintiff retains the
capacity to perform a different type of work and that such a
specific type of job exists in the national economy.
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 18-31; 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 and
(2) did not have an impairment or combination of impairments
that met or medically equaled the severity of a listed
(3) had the residual functional capacityfor light work
with various additional restrictions;
(4) could not perform his past relevant work;
(5) could perform jobs that exist in substantial numbers in
the national economy, such as garment sorter, housekeeper and
dresser; and thus
(6) had not been under a disability as defined by the Social
Security Act from March 7, 2016 through May 4, 2018.
Appeals Council's findings.
SSA's Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review, so the ALJ's unfavorable decision is the
Commissioner's final decision here. Id. at 1-5;