United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BERNARD M. JONES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Mary Wright, seeks judicial review of the Social Security
Administration's (SSA) denial of her applications for
disability insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental security
income (SSI). United States District Judge David L. Russell
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. 17], and
both parties have briefed their positions. For the reasons
set forth below, it is recommended that the
Commissioner's decision be affirmed.
April 3, 2018, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an
unfavorable decision finding Plaintiff was not disabled and,
therefore, not entitled to DIB or SSI. AR 12-23. The Appeals
Council denied Plaintiff's request for review.
Id. at 1-8. 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.
The ALJ's Decision
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, 416.920. Following
this process, the ALJ first determined that Plaintiff had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since February 2,
2014, her alleged onset date. AR 14.
two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff suffers from the following
severe impairments: degenerative disc disease, degenerative
joint disease of the knees bilaterally, rheumatoid arthritis,
osteoarthritis, headaches, obesity, anxiety, and depression.
Id. 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 16.
next determined Plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(RFC), concluding that Plaintiff could perform light work as
defined in 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b)
with the following additional restrictions:
[Plaintiff] can lift, carry, push or pull no more than twenty
pounds occasionally; can sit for a total of six hours a day,
stand for a total of six hours a day, and walk for a total of
six hours a day; can perform simple and some complex tasks
with supervision; can only interact incidentally with the
public; and can accept instructions from supervisors.
Id. at 18.
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 21-22. The ALJ then
proceeded to step five and, relying on the testimony of a
vocational expert, found Plaintiff can perform work existing
in significant numbers in the national economy. Id.
at 22-23. Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff can perform
the requirements of representative jobs such as small
products assembler, office helper, and electronics worker.
Id. at 23. Therefore, the ALJ concluded that
Plaintiff is not disabled for purposes of the Social Security
Claim Presented for Judicial Review
alleges that the ALJ erred in considering whether Plaintiffs
headaches necessitated additional restrictions in the RFC.
Pl.'s Br. [Doc. No. 19] at 3-10. For the reasons set
forth below, the Court finds no grounds for reversal.