United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ERWIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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 denying Plaintiff's
application for benefits under the Social Security Act. The
Commissioner has answered and filed a transcript of the
administrative record (hereinafter TR.__). The parties have
consented to jurisdiction over this matter by a United States
magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
parties have briefed their positions, and the matter is now
at issue. Based on the Court's review of the record and
the issues presented, the Court AFFIRMS the
and on reconsideration, the Social Security Administration
(SSA) denied Plaintiff's application for benefits.
Following two administrative hearings, an Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ) issued an unfavorable decision. (TR. 15-22).
Subsequently, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's
request for review,  making the ALJ's decision the final
decision of the Commissioner.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION
followed the five-step sequential evaluation process required
by agency regulations. See Fischer-Ross v. Barnhart,
431 F.3d 729, 731 (10th Cir. 2005); 20 C.F.R. § 416.920.
At step one, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since April 25, 2016,
his application date. (TR. 17). At step two, the ALJ
determined that Mr. Snyder had the following severe
impairments: asymptomatic HIV; osteoarthritis of the left
knee; and obesity. (TR. 18). At step three, the ALJ found
that Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or medically
equal any of the presumptively disabling impairments listed
at 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (TR. 19).
four, the ALJ concluded that Mr. Snyder retained the residual
functional capacity (RFC) to:
[P]erform light work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(b): that
is, the claimant can occasionally lift and/or carry 20 pounds
and can lift and/or carry frequently 10 pounds; stand and/or
walk at least 6 hours in an 8-hour workday; sit at least 6
hours in an 8-hour workday; and no more than occasionally
climb such things as stairs or ramps, kneel, crouch, or
(TR. 20). With this RFC, the ALJ concluded that Mr. Snyder
was able to perform his past relevant work as a short order
cook and a liquor establishment manager. (TR. 22). Thus, at
step four, the ALJ concluded that Mr. Snyder was not
disabled. (TR. 22).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court reviews the Commissioner's final decision “to
determin[e] whether the factual findings are supported by
substantial evidence in the record and whether the correct
legal standards were applied.” Wilson v.
Astrue, 602 F.3d 1136, 1140 (10th Cir. 2010). Under the
“substantial evidence” standard, a court looks to
an existing administrative record and asks whether it
contains “sufficien[t] evidence” to support the
agency's factual determinations. Biestek v.
Berryhill, 139 S.Ct. 1148, 1154 (2019).
“Substantial evidence … is more than a mere
scintilla … and means only-such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” Biestek v. Berryhill, 139 S.Ct.
at 1154 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).
the court considers whether the ALJ followed the applicable
rules of law in weighing particular types of evidence in
disability cases, the court will “neither reweigh the
evidence nor substitute [its] judgment for that of the
agency.” Vigil v. Colvin, 805 F.3d 1199, 1201
(10th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).