Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Berry v. Saul

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

October 1, 2019

JOHNNY BERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW M. SAUL, Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BERNARD M. JONES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Johnny Berry, seeks judicial review of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) denial of his application for disability insurance benefits (DIB). United States District Judge Joe Heaton has referred the matter for proposed findings and recommendations. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(B), 636(B)(3); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). The Commissioner has filed the Administrative Record (AR) [Doc. No. 11], and both parties have briefed their positions.[1] For the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that the Commissioner's decision be affirmed.

         I. Procedural Background

         On April 9, 2018, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an unfavorable decision finding Plaintiff was not disabled and, therefore, not entitled to DIB. AR 15-25. The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review. Id. at 1-7. Accordingly, the ALJ's decision constitutes the Commissioner's final decision. See Krauser v. Astrue, 638 F.3d 1324, 1327 (10th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff timely commenced this action for judicial review.

         II. The ALJ's Decision

         The ALJ followed the five-step sequential evaluation process required by agency regulations. See Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1051 (10th Cir. 2009) (explaining process); see also 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520. Following this process, the ALJ first determined that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since August 14, 2014, his alleged onset date. AR 17.

         At step two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff suffers from the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, slight kidney damage, and obesity. Id. at 18. At step three, the ALJ found that Plaintiff's impairments do not meet or medically equal any of the impairments listed at 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, App. 1. Id. at 18.

         The ALJ next determined Plaintiff's residual functional capacity (RFC), concluding that Plaintiff could perform sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a) with the following additional restrictions:

[Plaintiff] can lift, carry, push and pull no more than 10 pounds occasionally; he can sit, in whatever increments he wishes, for not to exceed 6 hours in a day[;] stand, in whatever increments he wishes, for not to exceed 4 hours in a day[;] and walk, in whatever increments he wishes, for not to exceed 4 hours in a day. [Plaintiff] can frequently crouch, kneel, crawl, and stoop; he can frequently climb ramps and stairs, and can occasionally climb scaffolds and ladders.

Id. at 18-23.

         At step four, the ALJ determined Plaintiff is unable to perform any past relevant work and that transferability of job skills is not a material issue. Id. at 23-24. The ALJ then proceeded to step five and, relying on the testimony of a vocational expert (VE), found Plaintiff can perform work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. Id. at 24. Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff can perform the requirements of representative jobs such as food and beverage order clerk, information clerk, and call out clerk. Id. Therefore, the ALJ concluded that Plaintiff is not disabled for purposes of the Social Security Act. Id. at 25.

         III. Claims Presented for Judicial Review

         Plaintiff brings four allegations of error, asserting that the ALJ failed to: (1) properly consider Plaintiff's obesity; (2) properly evaluate the opinion evidence; (3) include proper vocational limitations in the RFC; and (4) consider the cumulative effect of Plaintiff's impairments. Pl.'s Br. [Doc. No. 16] at 7-21. For the reasons set forth below, the undersigned finds no grounds for reversal.

         IV. Standard of Review

         Judicial review of the Commissioner's final decision is limited to determining whether the factual findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole and whether the correct legal standards were applied. See Poppa v. Astrue, 569 F.3d 1167, 1169 (10th Cir. 2009); see also Bowman v. Astrue, 511 F.3d 1270, 1272 (10th Cir. 2008) (holding that the court only reviews an ALJ's decision “to determine whether the factual findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record and whether the correct legal standards were applied” and in that review, “we neither reweigh the evidence nor substitute our judgment for that of the agency” (citations and internal quotation marks omitted)). Under such review, “common sense, not technical perfection, is [the Court's] guide.” Keyes-Zachary v. Astrue, 695 F.3d 1156, 1167 (10th Cir. 2012).

         V. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.