United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
CHARLES B. GOODWIN, United States District Judge.
Terry Wilson brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) for judicial review of the final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) denying Plaintiff’s application for
disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) under Title
II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§
401-434, and supplemental security income (“SSI”)
under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, id.
§§ 1381-1383f. Upon review of the administrative
record (Doc. No. 10, hereinafter “R. ”),
the arguments and authorities submitted by the parties, the
Commissioner’s decision is affirmed.
History and Administrative Decision Plaintiff protectively
filed her DIB and SSI applications on March 20, 2015,
alleging disability beginning February 18, 2015. R. 11,
174-90. The SSA denied Plaintiff’s application
initially and on reconsideration. R. 56-97. At
Plaintiff’s request, an administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) held a hearing on October 11, 2016. R.
33-55. The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on December 1,
2016. R. 8-20.
followed the five-step sequential evaluation process in
determining Plaintiff was not entitled to disability
benefits. See Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052
(10th Cir. 2009); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920.
At step one, the ALJ found that Plaintiff had worked since
her disability-onset date, but her earnings had not
constituted substantial gainful activity for purposes of
determining eligibility for DIB and SSI. R. 13. At step two,
the ALJ determined that Plaintiff has severe impairments
consisting of obesity, spinal stenosis, and dysfunction of
major joints. R. 14.
three, the ALJ found Plaintiff does not have an impairment or
combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the
severity of any of the presumptively disabling impairments
listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. R.
next assessed Plaintiff’s residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) during the relevant period, based on all
her medically determinable impairments:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in
20 CFR 404.1567(a) and 416.967(a) except the claimant can
occasionally climb ramps or stairs, but can never climb
ladders, ropes or scaffolds. She can occasionally balance,
stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
on the hearing testimony of the vocational expert, the ALJ
determined at step four that Plaintiff can perform her past
relevant work as credit clerk and dispatcher both as actually
and generally performed, and her past relevant work as rental
clerk as actually performed. R. 19-20. Thus, the ALJ
determined Plaintiff is not disabled within the meaning of
the Social Security Act. Id.; see 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iv), (f); 416.920(a)(4)(iv), (f).
Appeals Council denied review of the ALJ’s decision, R.
1-6, and the unfavorable determination of the ALJ stands as
the Commissioner’s final decision. See 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.981, 416.1481.
Court’s judicial review of the Commissioner’s
final decision is limited to determining whether factual
findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record
as a whole and whether correct legal standards were applied.
Poppa v. Astrue, 569 F.3d 1167, 1169 (10th Cir.
2009). “Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence
as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Doyal v. Barnhart, 331 F.3d 758,
760 (10th Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks omitted).
“A decision is not based on substantial evidence if it
is overwhelmed by other evidence in the record or if there is
a mere scintilla of evidence supporting it.” Branum
v. Barnhart, 385 F.3d 1268, 1270 (10th Cir. 2004)
(internal quotation marks omitted). The court
“meticulously examine[s] the record as a whole, ”
including any evidence “that may undercut or detract
from the ALJ’s findings, ” “to determine if
the substantiality test has been met.” Wall,
561 F.3d at 1052 (internal quotation marks omitted). Though a
reviewing court considers whether the Commissioner followed
applicable rules of law in weighing particular types of
evidence in disability cases, the court does not reweigh the
evidence or substitute its own judgment for that of the
Commissioner. Bowman v. Astrue, 511 F.3d 1270, 1272
(10th Cir. 2008).
alleges that the ALJ failed to properly evaluate the
“intensity, persistence and functionally limiting
effects of [Plaintiff’s] symptoms.” Pl.’s
Br. (Doc. No. 12) at 3-7. She further alleges that the ALJ
“improperly granted partial weight to ...