United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
BERNARD M. JONES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Barbara Cross, seeks judicial review of the Social Security
Administration's (SSA) denial of her application for
supplemental security income (SSI). The parties have
consented to the exercise of jurisdiction over this matter by
a United States Magistrate Judge. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c). The Commissioner has filed the Administrative
Record (AR) [Doc. No. 11], and both parties have briefed
their positions. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
reverses the Commissioner's decision and remands the
matter for further proceedings.
February 13, 2018, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued
an unfavorable decision finding Plaintiff not disabled and,
therefore, not entitled to SSI. AR 15-23. The Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review. AR 1-6.
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. § 416.920. Following this process,
the ALJ first determined that Plaintiff had not engaged in
substantial gainful activity since September 26, 2016, her
application date. AR 17.
two, the ALJ determined Plaintiff suffers from the following
severe impairments: diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity,
arthritis, and bilateral shoulder disorders. Id. at
17-18. 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 18-19.
next determined Plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(RFC), concluding that:
[Plaintiff] has the residual functional capacity to lift and
carry 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently.
[Plaintiff] can sit for about six hours during an eight-hour
workday and can stand and walk for about six hours during an
eight-hour workday. [Plaintiff] can frequently climb
ramps/stairs, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl.
[Plaintiff] can occasionally climb ladders, ropes, or
scaffolds. [Plaintiff] can occasionally reach overhead.
Id. at 19-22; see also 20 C.F.R. §
416.967(c) (defining medium work).
four, relying on a vocational expert's (VE) testimony,
the ALJ determined Plaintiff is capable of performing her
past relevant work as a courier and caregiver. Id.
at 22-23. Based upon this finding, the ALJ concluded that
Plaintiff is not disabled for purposes of the Social Security
Act. Id. at 23.
Claims Presented for Judicial Review
alleges the ALJ erred in failing to properly evaluate: (1)
Plaintiff's ability to afford medication and (2) medical
evidence. Pl.'s Br. [Doc. No. 22] at 8-13, 13-23. As
explained below, the Court finds that Plaintiff's
arguments warrant reversal.