United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
LARRY R. MILLER, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KIMBERLY E. WEST, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Larry R. Miller (the “Claimant”) requests
judicial review of the decision of the Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration (the
“Commissioner”) denying Claimant's
application for disability benefits under the Social Security
Act. Claimant appeals the decision of the Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) and asserts that the Commissioner
erred because the ALJ incorrectly determined that Claimant
was not disabled. For the reasons discussed below, it is the
recommendation of the undersigned that the Commissioner's
decision be AFFIRMED.
Security Law and Standard of Review
under the Social Security Act is defined as the
“inability to engage in any substantial gainful
activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or
mental impairment. . .” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A).
A claimant is disabled under the Social Security Act
“only if his physical or mental impairments are of such
severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work
but cannot, considering his age, education, and work
experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful
work which exists in the national economy. . .” 42
U.S.C. § 423(d)(2)(A). Social Security regulations
implement a five-step sequential process to evaluate a
disability claim. See 20 C.F.R. §
review of the Commissioner's determination is limited in
scope by 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). This Court's review is
limited to two inquiries: first, whether the decision was
supported by substantial evidence; and, second, whether the
correct legal standards were applied. Hawkins v.
Chater, 113 F.3d 1162, 1164 (10th Cir. 1997) (citation
omitted). The term “substantial evidence” has
been interpreted by the United States Supreme Court to
require “more than a mere scintilla. It means such
relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Richardson v.
Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971), quoting
Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229
(1938)). The court may not re-weigh the evidence nor
substitute its discretion for that of the agency. Casias
v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 933 F.2d 799,
800 (10th Cir. 1991). Nevertheless, the court must review the
record as a whole, and the “substantiality of the
evidence must take into account whatever in the record fairly
detracts from its weight.” Universal Camera Corp.
v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 488 (1951); see also,
Casias, 933 F.2d at 800-01.
was 34 years old at the time of the ALJ's decision. He
has a high school education and has worked in the past as a
set up technician, spot welder, and veterinarian assistant.
Claimant alleges an inability to work beginning on July 23,
2014, due to limitations resulting from depression, tremors,
anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, dyslexia,
sleep apnea, and back problems.
September 26, 2014, Claimant protectively filed for a period
of disability and disability insurance benefits under Title
II (42 U.S.C. § 401, et seq.) of the Social
Security Act. Claimant's application was denied initially
and upon reconsideration. On April 25, 2017, the
Administrative Law Judge(“ALJ”) Joseph Liken
conducted a video hearing from Dallas, Texas, and Claimant
appeared in Paris, Texas. On May 16, 2017, the ALJ entered an
unfavorable decision. Claimant requested review by the
Appeals Council, and on February 22, 2018, the Appeals
Council denied review. As a result, the decision of the ALJ
represents the Commissioner's final decision for purposes
of further appeal. 20 C.F.R. § 404.981.
of the Administrative Law Judge
made his decision at step five of the sequential evaluation.
He determined that while Claimant suffered from severe
impairments, he did not meet a listing and retained the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) to perform
light work, with limitations.
Alleged for Review
asserts the ALJ committed error by finding Claimant had
certain limitations in one portion of his decision and then
by failing to include the limitations in his RFC assessment.
Because of this, Claimant argues the RFC is not supported by