United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
SUSAN M. SMITH, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SUZANNE MITCHELL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
M. Smith (Plaintiff), appearing pro se, brings this action
for judicial review of the Commissioner of Social
Security's final decision that she was not
“disabled” under the Social Security Act.
See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 423(d)(1)(A). The
parties have consented to the undersigned Magistrate Judge
for proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)
and (C). See Docs. 17, 21.
careful review of the record (AR), the parties' filings,
the relevant authority, the court affirms the
Commissioner's decision. See 42 U.S.C. §
Social Security Act defines “disability” as the
“inability to engage in any substantial gainful
activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or
mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or
which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous
period of not less than 12 months.” 42 U.S.C. §
423(d)(1)(A). “This twelve-month duration requirement
applies to the claimant's inability to engage in any
substantial gainful activity, and not just h[er] underlying
impairment.” Lax v. Astrue, 489 F.3d 1080,
1084 (10th Cir. 2007) (citing Barnhart v. Walton,
535 U.S. 212, 218-19 (2002)).
Burden of proof.
“bears the burden of establishing a disability”
and of “ma[king] a prima facie showing that [s]he can
no longer engage in his prior work activity.”
Turner v. Heckler, 754 F.2d 326, 328 (10th Cir.
1985). If Plaintiff makes that prima facie showing, the
burden of proof then shifts to the Commissioner to show
Plaintiff retains the capacity to perform a different type of
work and that such a specific type of job exists in the
national economy. See id.
Administrative Law Judge's findings.
assigned to Plaintiff's case applied the standard
regulatory analysis to decide whether Plaintiff was disabled
during the relevant timeframe. AR 15-27; see 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1520(a)(4); see also Wall v. Astrue, 561
F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009) (describing the five-step
process). The ALJ determined that from July 31, 2005, the
date of Plaintiff's alleged onset of disability, through
December 31, 2010, the date she last met the insured status
requirements of the Social Security Act, Plaintiff:
(1) had not engaged in substantial gainful activity;
(2) had two severe impairments, osteoarthrosis of bilateral
knees and depressive disorder;
(3) had no impairment or combination of impairments that met
or medically equaled the severity of a listed impairment;
(4) had the physical residual functional capacity (RFC) to
perform light work requiring her to occasionally balance,
stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, climb ramps, and climb stairs
but not to climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds, and had the
mental RFC to perform simple tasks with routine supervision
in a work environment requiring her to relate to supervisors
and peers on a superficial work basis and adapt to routine
workplace changes but not to meet mandatory fast-paced quota
levels or relate to the general public;
(5) was unable to perform any of her past relevant work, but
could perform jobs that existed in significant numbers in the
national economy such as final inspector, scale operator, and
mail clerk; and thus (6) was not disabled between her alleged
onset date, July 31, 2005, and the date she was last insured,
December 31, 2010.
Appeals Council's findings.
Social Security Administration's Appeals Council found no
reason to review that decision, see Id. at 1-5,
“making [it] the Commissioner's final decision for
[judicial] review.” Krauser v. Astrue, 638
F.3d 1324, 1327 (10th Cir. 2011).
Judicial review of a Commissioner's ...